April 25, 2007 | By Ren Bucholz

IPRED2 Slips Through, Fight to Continue

The European Parliament has just voted to pass the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED2) without substantive amendment, despite growing public opposition from across the European Union. The final vote of 374 to 278 with 17 abstentions points to a margin of Parliamentary support that has been narrowing ever since the Directive left subcommittee. While we are disappointed that IPRED2 was not defeated at this stage, we can see clearly the impact of the efforts of the over 8,000 Europeans who've taken action against the Directive. We were told by the two largest political parties that they felt that the Directive had not been given enough time to be properly discussed, and that our campaign had definitely contributed to the discussion.

The fight now moves to the Council of the European Union, where it will be considered by representatives of the national governments of all EU Member States. Several states have started to mount resistance to IPRED2 in recent weeks, with the UK and Holland leading the charge. Europeans worried about their right to innovate, and their ability to live under clear, fair criminal laws must now turn to their own national governments to ensure that IPRED2 doesn't set a terrible precedent for copyright law, and the EU legal process. If the Council disagrees with EuroParl's action -- which we believe is in reach -- IPRED2 would be returned for a second reading. We will be tracking these developments and providing opportunities to act at CopyCrime.eu.

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