Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft
EU anti-piracy directive heads for final vote
February 26, 2004, 12:05 GMT
Following approval by a parliamentary committee, a controversial intellectual property directive is headed for a fast-track vote next month
A proposed European Union law strengthening enforcement capabilities against intellectual-property violations has been approved by the European Parliament's judicial affairs committee (JURI), paving the way for a fast-track vote next month, despite harsh criticism from civil liberties groups.
The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure, a Europe-wide digital rights group, criticised the directive's proposal to make harsh measures available for all alleged intellectual property infringements, potentially including individual acts by end users. "We are talking about unannounced dawn raids by private security firms, piling in with legal authority and seizing entire computer systems and filing cabinets full of documents," said FFII's UK coordinator, James Heald, in a statement. "That is a terrifying and destructive experience for a small firm."