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Intellectual property enforcement

EP votes fails to respond to the changed reality of intellectual property

The European Parliament today voted to adopt a non-legislative resolution on intellectual property enforcement in the EU (*). The Greens/EFA group (which had co-sponsored an alternative resolution that failed to pass) voted against the final resolution, as it failed to distinguish between counterfeiting and basic copyright infringements. After the vote, Austrian Green MEP Eva Lichtenberger said:

"The resolution adopted today proposes an archaic, one-size-fits-all response to intellectual property infringements, and fails to recognise the changed reality of intellectual property. It is regrettable that MEPs were unwilling to acknowledge the obvious distinction between counterfeiting crime and copyright infringements. It is ridiculous to equate private music downloading, for example, with commercial product counterfeiting by organised criminals. We need to find new solutions that take account of the different types of intellectual property rights and reflect their impacts on consumer safety rights or health. IP enforcement should not compromise civil liberties. Clearly though, we also need to find new models for remunerating artists in the changed environment."

Swedish MEP Christian Engström (Pirate Party) added:

"It is simply wrong-headed not to distinguish between counterfeiting crimes and low-level copyright infringements. The current broad-stroke legislative response to intellectual property infringements is no longer appropriate and it is regrettable that the European Parliament has failed to recognise this. It is high time the legislation evolves to reflect the realities of intellectual property in the 21st Century."

* The European Parliament adopted the Gallo report on the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the internal market and rejected two alternative resolutions, including one co-sponsored by the Greens/EFA group.


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