April 10, 2007 | By Hugh D'Andrade

Don't Let Europe Turn Its Citizens into Copycriminals!

On April 24th, the European Parliament will vote on IPRED2, the Second Intellectual Property Enforcement Directive. With one stroke, they risk turning thousands of innocent EU citizens and businesses into copycriminals.

If IPRED2 passes in its current form, "aiding, abetting, or inciting" copyright infringement "on a commercial scale" in the EU will become a crime.

The entertainment industry has made it clear that it sees sites like YouTube, P2P software, and even ISPs as "inciting" infringement. With IPRED2, the industry is pressuring governments in Europe to use taxpayers' money to enforce these prohibitive ideas of intellectual property. If IPRED2 were to become law, entertainment companies would even be able assist police in an official role as part of transnational "joint investigation teams."

Even though this represents a huge change in how intellectual property will be treated under the law, many terms in IPRED2 are left unclear or undefined -- including "commercial scale" and "incitement." Companies or individuals crossing these fuzzy lines can face permanent bans on doing business, as well as seizure of assets, criminal records, and fines of up to €100,000.

EFF Europe, together with other European activist groups, is working hard in Brussels to fix IPRED2. Send a message to the European Parliament, and receive up-to-date information, by visiting thecopycrime website and signing our petition now!


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