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IPRED 2 Developments and Vote in the European Parliament

On Tuesday the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament voted on the various amendments proposed to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Directive. The crux of these changes is that patents have (as anticipated) been excluded from the scope of the directive and key terms such as “commercial scale” have been left undefined, presumably based on the idea that local courts and eventually the European Court of Justice will resolve that problem. Such a reckless ambivalence towards establishing the legal rules for what will be criminal liability is completely unacceptable, and one hopes that at the very least this will be dealt with during the rest of the legislative process. Of course it would be preferable if the whole directive was to be abandoned – there has been no demonstration of its necessity – but once the bureaucrats invest their energy in developing a proposal like this they are loathe to change their minds as it does not make for good CV material. Likewise the German Presidency of the EU is enthusiastic to rush it through, so that they can have something on their results sheet once the six months is up, but that may be overly ambitious. In any case, indications are that the plenary vote in the European Parliament is taking place on April 25th. If you’re concerned about this, please support the excellent work being done both by the EFF’s new European Office and the stalwarts at the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure. They’re out there for us, so dig into your pockets and circulate their materials for them.

More analysis later.

There’s quite a bit of press coverage regarding these developments, amongst them articles at IP Watch, P2Pnet, Heise Online and The Register.

Elsewhere:,129995/article.html (in spanish) spanish)

Thanks to participants in the IPRED2 list for compiling links to the coverage.


March 23, 2007 - Posted by | enforcement, european directives, intellectual property

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