[Fsfe-ie] Enforcement Directive mark two

David O'Callaghan david.ocallaghan at cs.tcd.ie
Wed Jul 13 13:29:43 CEST 2005

Hi All,

On 13/07/05 11:43, teresahackett at eircom.net wrote:
> This is a Commission proposal introducing criminal sanctions for IP 
> infringements under the "correct" legal basis, aka IPR Enforcement 
> Directive Mark Two.

My immediate reaction is that copyright, trademark or patent 
infringements should be treated as civil matters and not as criminal 
activities. The complainant must make their case that a particular 
alleged infringer has in fact infringed on their rights/privileges. 
Turning these infringements into crimes is an expensive form of 
"corporate welfare", which shifts the burden of pursuing infringement 
cases from the individuals and organisations involved to police and 
customs officials.

> It applies to all types of infringements and no 
> financial benefit is required by the "commercial scale" standard. It has 
> been described as a worse threat to free software than software patents.
> FFII and others have been alerted.

"Commercial scale" sounds extremely vague to me, especially when 
combined with the "aiding or abetting and inciting" clause. If someone 
releases some software that could be used on a "commercial scale" to 
copy data CDs (the unix dd command, for example) then they would appear 
to be liable.

I'm no fan of organized crime, but I think it's unfair to weight the 
laws so strongly in favour of the copyright, trademark or patent 
holders. This law could be used to define a company producing generic 
medicines without a patent licence as a "criminal organization".
I don't know how this directive should be written to specifically target 
what most of us think of as "organized crime".

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