The European Parliament voted yes on the new controversial directive Ipred 2 which concludes that all kinds of infringement of the intellectual copyrights will be considered criminal. The directive is actually stricter than that and even criminalizes attempts of infringing on copyrights. In theory this means that basically all video sites, P2P developers and other services used to spread material around the web is criminal.
There is an exception though and that is the end-user. If this user downloads pirated material and use this only for his own entertainment, study or research he or she can not be prosecuted through the new directive. Ipred 2 has been harshly criticized from day 1 by people saying it in turn infringes on people freedom of speech and even been considered a lobby directive from the media industry.
The goal is to harmonize (EP’s choice of word) the copyright laws of the member countries of the EU through the new directive. The fines and penalties will be adjusted by some countries according to the new directive, but they still vary quite a lot between the European countries where Great Britain are the strictest with up to 10 years in prison, while the same crime only pays three months in Greece.
“Parliament, in approving today the report by Nicola Zingaretti (PES, IT) by 374 votes to 278 with 17 abstentions, has backed the overall aim of the Commission proposal, while amending some of its provisions. The EP excluded patent rights from the scope of the directive, and decided that criminal sanctions should apply only to infringements deliberately carried out to obtain a commercial advantage. Piracy committed by private users for personal, non-profit purposes is therefore also excluded.”
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