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EU Passes Nasty IP Law

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the smoke-filled-room dept.

The Courts 375

FireBreathingDog writes "This BBC report details a new European Union law that 'allows companies to raid homes, seize property and ask courts to freeze bank accounts to protect trademarks or intellectual property they believe are being abused or stolen.'" Like any bit of controversial legislation, it can change massively just before being voted upon. This legislation, which originally had DMCA-like provisions (protections for technical protection measures on copyrighted works), seems to have lost them prior to passage. (I'm sure they'll be back in some new piece of legislation.) However, it does make "regular" copyright enforcement much more aggressive in the EU, with companies able to raid, confiscate and freeze the bank accounts of those accused of copyright infringement. More information: IP Justice, FFII, FFII background.

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375 comments

How do they decide which companies can do it? (5, Insightful)

MrRTFM (740877) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519613)

from the article: But late amendments added to the law limited who intellectual property owners could take action against and what penalties they could apply.
This would be just great if companies like SCO get to have this power. The average politition may not realise what their new 'core business' consists of, and give them the keys to the IP city. In 16 months time will it be a common sight to see 'SCOrm Troopers' busting through windows of offices and razing them?

It's bad enough with the government departments doing this, but profit based companies? Shit, this is scary stuff

Re:How do they decide which companies can do it? (2, Funny)

The_Mr_Flibble (738358) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519623)

Welcome to the UK, how may we abuse you ?

Good news (2)

trezor (555230) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519742)

This has no relevance to parent post whatsoever, but it needs to be said and read.

These new laws, which probably will be passed, may have some nasty DMCA like tendencies, but there are good news as well.

It will outloaw technological measures to prevent free trade (like DVD-zones). It's not all to the record/movie-business.

Even if this law, I must admit, is the lowest I've ever seen the EU crawl for the industry.

Re:How do they decide which companies can do it? (1)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519646)

It looks like this wouldn't be Germany, as German courts have been ruling in very anti-sco^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hignorancially-challenged descisions.

Re:How do they decide which companies can do it? (5, Informative)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519720)

Here's Section 8 of the FFII legislation:
Article 8
Measures for protecting evidence

1. Member States shall ensure that even before the commencement of proceedings on the merits of the case the competent judicial authorities may, on application by a party who has presented reasonably available evidence to support his claims that his intellectual property right has been infringed or is about to be infringed, order prompt and effective provisional measures to preserve relevant evidence in regard to the alleged infringement, subject to the protection of confidential information. Such measures may include the detailed description, with or without the taking of samples, or the physical seizure of the infringing goods, and, in appropriate cases, the materials and implements used in the production and/or distribution of these goods and the documents relating thereto. These measures shall be taken, if necessary without the other party having been heard, in particular where any delay is likely to cause irreparable harm to the right holder, or where there is a demonstrable risk of evidence being destroyed.

Where evidence-protection measures have been adopted without the other party having been heard, the affected parties shall be given notice immediately after the execution of the measures at the latest. A review, including a right to be heard, shall take place upon request of
the affected parties with a view to deciding, within a reasonable period after the notification of the measures, whether the measures shall be modified, revoked or confirmed.

2. Member States shall ensure that the evidence-protection measures may be subject to the applicant's lodging of an adequate security or equivalent assurance intended to ensure compensation for any prejudice suffered by the defendant as provided for in paragraph 4.

3. Member States shall ensure that the evidence-protection measures shall be revoked or otherwise cease to have effect upon request by the defendant, without prejudice to the damages which may be claimed, if the applicant has not instituted legal proceedings
leading to a decision on the merits of the case before the competent judicial authority within a reasonable period, to be determined by the judicial authority ordering the measures when the law of a Member State so permits or, in the absence of such determination, within a period not to exceed 20working days or 31calendar days, whichever is the longer.

4. Where the evidence-protection measures have been revoked, or where they lapse due to any act or omission by the applicant, or where it is subsequently found that there has been no infringement or threat of infringement of any intellectual property right, the judicial authorities shall have the authority to order the applicant, upon request of the defendant, to provide the defendant with appropriate compensation for any injury caused by these measures.

5. Member States may take measures to protect witnesses' identity.

So from paragraph 1, it seems as though the applicant (the one wishing to do a raid, for example) will need to demonstrate to "competent judicial authorities" that there is a clear and present danger of evidence being destroyed. Additionally, as per paragraphs 2 and 4, applicants will also need to provide assurance that, in the event the defendent is found not to be infringing, compensation for injury caused by whatever actions taken is provided.

Basically, SCO could use something like this, but it better have some significant cash on hand to reimburse any raided companies for downtime and losses incurred. Not quite as draconian as the summary would have you believe. But then, posting controversial summaries is Slashdot's hallmark. :)

Re:How do they decide which companies can do it? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519743)

Make that the German SS (Schutzstaffel) police units of WWII that bust your door at night and drag you on the street. Hasn't the EU learned anything by now?

Very Orwellian? (-1, Troll)

AMD-lover (759977) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519753)

So 1984 started 20 years later? My urine is the same as the one from my neighbour; I'll sue him for copyright infringement.

All your pisses......oh well, you know the drill.

Re:How do they decide which companies can do it? (1, Funny)

SphericalCrusher (739397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519770)

Amen.

I believe we are humans after all and we deserve rights. If someone came busting into my house, I'll just shove that USB harddrive of mine right up my ass and run! GO FIND MY STASH, OFFICER!

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We're slow (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519621)

The US of A were at least original, we're just lagging behind but not at all wiser.

Speaking as a U.K. citizen^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hsubject (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519625)

I for one am looking forward to having my bank accounts frozen, property siezed, pets raped and limbs removed!

Obligatory Simpsons Quote (5, Funny)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519627)

*knock knock knock*

Who's there?

Goons... Hired goons.

Re:Obligatory Simpsons Quote (4, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519708)

I'm sorry, but Goon is the IP of Paramount Studios. Prepare to be boarded, matey. I hope you ate your spinach today.

KFG

More information (4, Informative)

Underholdning (758194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519630)

Here's [zdnet.co.uk] some more [theinquirer.net] information.

I am not for these laws at all (-1, Redundant)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519632)

But sometimes I wonder what it is like from the other side: the side that creates rather than uses. What is it like to create and then have your creation ripped off and given away for free?

If I were in the creator's shoes, what steps would I do to protect myself? What kinds of protections would I require?

Re:I am not for these laws at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519644)

If I were sitting in a nice castle in the Hollywood hills, I don't think I would complain about piracy. Or maybe I would, simply because I could. Those who complain are usually those who already have more than enough.

Re:I am not for these laws at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519727)

umm,and how the hell would they have their "castle in the hollywood hills" if they let everyone pirate their software?

can't have your cake and eat it too.

Re:I am not for these laws at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519751)

If you have a couple of houses and enough money to live a luxurious life from interest, you (morally) lose the right to complain about piracy when your CDs still cost $18. If someone on MTV cribs ever honestly complains about piracy, there's going to be a revolution in which people will die.

Re:I am not for these laws at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519789)

so what you're saying is, that once you have earned a certain amount of income from selling something, you should then just stop and give it away for free?
regardless of whether that means you are going to go broke 5, 10, 20 years down the track?

a moral issue? if you ask me, it's a moral issue from the point of view of people who are *pirating* the products.

you give the music ind. as an example (mtv); i know small-time bands in the music ind. it's not just huge corporations. do they not deserve support for making their music?

the record companies are taking 90% of the profits, no shit; but that's just how it is - should they stop making music?

Re:I am not for these laws at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519825)

Yes, I think the greed needs to stop, or we will make it stop. There have been revolutions, there will be revolutions. They can only take what they take now because copyright law is completely out of proportion. Nothing Britney Spears (to give the prototypical example) has ever done in 20 something years is worth so much more than what a teacher or a nurse do their whole life. If you really find a way to go broke with eight figures in your bank account, you deserve to have to work again.

Re:I am not for these laws at all (4, Funny)

turgid (580780) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519700)

So if someone rips off my LGPL'd code, I can march into their property, breaking down the door, and walk off with all their kit :-) w00t! I feel a BIG beowulf cluster coming on :-)

Anarchy in the EU (1)

OwlWhacker (758974) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519745)

It actually sounds as if the EU is welcoming anarchy.

I accuse Microsoft of copyright infringement, I'm sure that there must be a whole pile of GPL code hacked into Windows. Can I go ransack all of the Microsoft offices in Europe now?

Re:Anarchy in the EU (1)

cozziewozzie (344246) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519792)

I'm not sure you know the meaning of word anarchy. [m-w.com] How can a union of 25 governments passing laws which limit freedom be considered anarchy, when anarchy is the absence of government and laws? More information in the Anarchist FAQ [geocities.com] .

Yes, I know that people (ab)use the word 'anarchy' when they actually mean 'chaos', but using fancy words does not make your point stronger if you don't know what they mean. If you mean 'chaos', then say 'chaos'.

Re:I am not for these laws at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519740)

that is actually damn right, but unfortunately, now we have giant corporations, like sco and now kodak, abusing these ip laws.

Re:I am not for these laws at all (1, Funny)

hyphz (179185) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519741)

> What is it like to create and then have your
> creation ripped off and given away for free?

Like signing a distribution deal?

Re:I am not for these laws at all (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519752)

what the fuck are you talking about?

familiar with recording industry distro deals? they = $.

Re:I am not for these laws at all (2, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519831)

Actually, a lot of deals have a negative net value. You sell the rights to your music for what amounts to a loan. They give you an advance, but that, and things like marketting, recording studio time, CD pressing costs, and breakages (calculated from the losses caused by records breaking) are deducted from the bands cut of the royalties. A lot of people will find themselves in debt to a record company after a fairly succesful album.

Re:I am not for these laws at all (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519823)

Oooooooo, low blow. :)

"One reason for the bustle was that over large parts of the continent other people preferred to make money without working at all, and since the Disc had yet to develop a music recording industry they were forced to fall back on older, more traditional forms of banditry."

-- Terry Pratchett

KFG

Re:I am not for these laws at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519759)

You may not be aware of it, but a large fraction of the slashdot frequenters with a job are in fact in the content creation business. Specifically, they are creating copyrighted software for money.

Re:I am not for these laws at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519772)

Those slashbots are typically not the owners of the copyright and have no direct, vested interest in the content itself. It is of almost no consequence to them if someone were to rip off the content. As long as the paycheck is steady, most employees (ie. content creators) couldn't care any less about their product.

Re:I am not for these laws at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519815)

And what if you create something, give it away for free, and some scumbag SCO comes along and rips it off, (thieving, white collar criminal litigious bastards that they are), does that mean I can raid SCO for stealing my comment lines in the code they use? =) They are, after all, also covered under copyright.

Unless I'm mistaken.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519633)

this only applies to people who try to make money out of piratism. Not individual persons (the ones who download music to listen to it).

Re:Unless I'm mistaken.. (0)

Magada (741361) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519643)

It doesn't apply to anyone, yet, nor will it in its current form. The Ministers will never sign such BS. Move along people, nothing to see here

Re:Unless I'm mistaken.. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519652)

All references to commercial piracy have been removed. It does apply to non-commercial copyright violations now.

GPL violations (4, Insightful)

ajagci (737734) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519636)

with companies able to raid, confiscate and freeze the bank accounts of those accused of copyright infringement.

Maybe one can use this against GPL violations. What does the legislation say about when, oh, Phillips or Vivendi might be violating GPL terms? Can we have their assets frozen?

Re:GPL violations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519650)

Of course not. Don't be silly. Now get back in your cage, maggot!

Re:GPL violations (2, Insightful)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519693)

What if you accused the government?

Accusing the Gov (1)

Un0r1g1nal (711750) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519780)

They have themselves protected by having veto options on all EU directives, so if you did find out they were breaking some infringment then as soon as you brought the hired goons in they would veto the law.

Then you had better damn well hope that you could run fast and hide well .. because they would come after you, and your family, and your pet dog pingo, and even your goldfish goldie. .. no mercy

Re:GPL violations (1)

OwlWhacker (758974) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519812)

What, and risk getting assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald?

Re:GPL violations (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519733)

Maybe one can use this against GPL violations. What does the legislation say about when, oh, Phillips or Vivendi might be violating GPL terms? Can we have their assets frozen?

If you believe there is imminent threat of the destruction of evidence, then yes. But if they're shipping a GPL-derived product without source, then I don't think there's any chance seizing their assets would protect any evidence, as many people would have copies. So the courts wouldn't allow that circumstance.

Re:GPL violations (1, Funny)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519830)

Of course there's an imminent threat of destruction of evidence. Microsoft has a nice little button installed in Gates's room that automatically deletes every file that has had GPL-taint in the entire Microsoft campus.

So, you see, we need to be able to break into his office before he can even realize it, and keep him away from the magic button, so we can demonstrate to the courts that they've been using GPL code all along.

Highlights (4, Informative)

222 (551054) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519638)

Since your not going to rtfa, ill drop the highlights.


["Before the vote, critics said the law was flawed as it applied the same penalties to both professional counterfeiters and consumers." But a late amendment limited them to organised counterfeiters and not people downloading music at home."]

["The European law was shepherded through the European Parliament by MEP Janelly Fourtou, wife of Jean-Rene Fourtou who is boss of media giant Vivendi Universal. "]

["One amendment said action should not be taken against consumers who download music "in good faith" for their own use."]

Re:Highlights (1, Funny)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519654)

My lazy clicking finger thanks you.

Re:Highlights (4, Insightful)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519670)

["The European law was shepherded through the European Parliament by MEP Janelly Fourtou, wife of Jean-Rene Fourtou who is boss of media giant Vivendi Universal. "]

And there you have it.

Nice to see politicians (are MEPs even elected?) have *our* best interests at heart.

Re:Highlights (1, Funny)

akiro (645099) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519714)

Yes they are elected, and at least here in Finland people seem to vote for the most annoying politicians to become MEP:s, so they get rid of them for 4 years ;-) (The European Parliament is in Brussels, long way from Finland)

Re:Highlights (1)

BlueUnderwear (73957) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519803)

here in Finland people seem to vote for the most annoying politicians to become MEP:s, so they get rid of them for 4 years

Here in Luxembourg, the European election is on the same day as the national election. Of course, the same candidats are on both ballots. Result: those with the most votes take a national seat (considered to be more important...), leaving the european seats to the losers!

Re:Highlights (4, Insightful)

222 (551054) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519721)

This also made my stomach turn. When i was younger, i believed that corporations had an invisible influence over the workings of certain governments. The older i became, the more i realized that there was nothing covert about it.
I've spent a lot of time wondering where the blame should go.
Is it apathetic voters that simply dont have time to research what potential canidates have done?
Is it an abusing lobbying system that wont change because the people that receive the money are also the ones that make the laws?
Is it what ive heard Noam Chomsky refer to as "Institutional Control"? IE, your more than welcome to discuss the US involvement with Uzbekistan in your political science class, but expect your govt funding to be terminated shortly...
At any rate, I agree with your sentiment.

Re:Highlights (3, Informative)

turgid (580780) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519771)

are MEPs even elected?

Yes, they are, however in the UK, we as a nation are so insular and xenophobic, the turn-out at the elections for MEPs is routinely below 20%. I think it was about 13% last time IIRC. It's pathetic. People think that because it's "Europe" it doesn't affect them. At least my radical vote counts more because there are fewer total votes :-)

Re:Highlights (1)

sangdrax (132295) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519784)

Well the creation and passing of these laws as well as the laws against smoking in public areas certainly got my attention.

But maybe that was the main point of passing them in the first place: there's more were this came from! Vote against us or die :P

Re:Highlights (3, Insightful)

kahei (466208) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519827)


It's not because you're insular (which you are) or xenophobic (which you aren't) -- it's because most UK cits realize that what they think and do matters not at all to European politicians.

In other words, they (the apathetic sheep) have a reasonable and correct worldview whereas you are kind of cute but sad, like a little mouse that says it will protect its parent mice from the evil cat.

Now hush up and give us all your fishing rights -- oh, you already have.

Re:Highlights (1)

term8or (576787) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519810)

are MEPs even elected?
Yes. But they're like local councillors, very few people bother to vote.

Re:Highlights (5, Informative)

absolut_kurant (152888) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519723)

["Before the vote, critics said the law was flawed as it applied the same penalties to both professional counterfeiters and consumers." But a late amendment limited them to organised counterfeiters and not people downloading music at home."]

This is NOT TRUE, just a spin! Only 3 parts of the directive are limited to "commercial scale", i.e. freezing of bank accounts, getting bank information and trying to get background information on the copying organization. So the stormtroopers can still your house.

must stop typing words (-1)

-Maurice66- (728513) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519647)

in case someone claimed their copyrights

Pop (3, Funny)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519651)

Music firms might come knocking if you are swapping pop

Guess I won't be busted for sharing my Australian didgeridoo, german barbershop quartet or christian gangster rap collection.

Re:Pop (1)

tomknight (190939) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519675)

Music firms might come knocking if you are swapping pop

But you might ask what they have to do with the soft drinks industry.

Tom.

Yo,u FAIL it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519653)

And e83iting;

Thanks michael! (1, Funny)

zegebbers (751020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519659)

From the submitter :
'allows companies to raid homes, seize property and ask courts to freeze bank accounts to protect trademarks or intellectual property they believe are being abused or stolen.'
From michael
with companies able to raid, confiscate and freeze the bank accounts of those accused of copyright infringement.


thanks!
wouldn't have known otherwise!

Very American Indeed.... (4, Informative)

tomknight (190939) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519662)

Note that we're learning from the Americans in more ways than one....

"The European law was shepherded through the European Parliament by MEP Janelly Fourtou, wife of Jean-Rene Fourtou who is boss of media giant Vivendi Universal."

Tom.

Re:Very American Indeed.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519707)

One cultural difference though: in the USA, it's money that's used to corrupt; in Europe, it's sex.

Re:Very American Indeed.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519813)

Note that we're learning from the Americans in more ways than one....

You're still forgetting to learn about showering and brushing our teeth from us though.

Re:Very American Indeed.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519826)

Such incisive wit, I can barely move for fear of shitting myself with laughter.

EU Parliament sucks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519664)

Another crap piece of legislation from the EU Parliament.

An organisation so corrupt it makes the US senate look like a school choir.

personal legislation (5, Insightful)

Vega043 (729614) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519666)

The European law was shepherded through the European Parliament by MEP Janelly Fourtou, wife of Jean-Rene Fourtou who is boss of media giant Vivendi Universal.
Nice to see that you can pass pas EU legislation by marrying the right person.

It`s not a law It`s a directive (4, Informative)

mocm (141920) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519668)

which gives the member states a framework for new laws that have to be put into legislation within a certain time frame (2 years). So there is still hope that individual states will have less stringent laws than the directive calls for. Although there may also be states that will have far more stringent laws.

You expect Michael to know this? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519688)

He wants to rant, therefore the actual FACTS are trivial.

Re:It`s not a law It`s a directive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519694)

And as is common in the EU some states enforce the laws to the detriment of their population and others ignore them completely to their benefit.

See cod fishing, agriculture, immigration, mining, energy production, etc etc

Screw, you, EU... (3, Funny)

Channard (693317) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519673)

.. this was my idea! You stole it from me! Right - prepare to be living on whatever you've got in the office canteen - I'm suing and freezing your account. Now.. what's the dialling code for Brussels?

So exactly who has rights? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519680)

So exactly *why* are private parties given these rights? Shouldn't they be reserved for the "authorities" after a claim has been acertained as legitimate? What would this mean for a company like SCO that seems to have no real evidence for a claim of IP violation? Could they just use this bill against anyone they *claim* violated IP?

GEE THANK YOU MICHAEL FOR YOU INSIGHTFUL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519681)

commentary. I'm sure we wouldn't have been able to figure any of it out without your precious wisdom.

Isn't there ANY place that's free? (3, Insightful)

kcbrown (7426) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519684)

Looks to me like the EU (and, by extension, European countries) is 0wz0r3d by big corporations just like the U.S.

Looks to me like there's no escaping the soul-crushing, draconian corporate police state that's almost (if not already) here in everything but name.

Isn't there any country out there with the balls to refuse to give in to shit like this that isn't already a police state of some kind??

:-(

Re:Isn't there ANY place that's free? (1)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519698)

I think China does... but then, they don't exactly let corporations exist for the most part.

Of course, I'd probably settle for this daconian coporate environment where at least I get to choose which fast food joint I'm going to spend all my money at.

Re:Isn't there ANY place that's free? (1)

PingKing (758573) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519716)

Sealand [sealandgov.com] is a small platform off the east coast of England. It claims to be an independant country, and hasn't signed the Berne Convention on copyright. Theoretically you could distribute copyrighted material from there. Handily, it is home to HavenCo [havenco.com] , a hosting company.

Can the "Sealand" stuff, please (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519824)

Ok. Please can the "Sealand" stuff. Let's look at this.

How many horses in the USA ? Plenty. UK? Plenty.
Australia? Plenty. Canada? Argentina? South Africa? New Zealand? Spain? Plenty. Now...

How many horses in "Sealand"? None! Therefore, is Sealand a country? NO!

Re:Can the "Sealand" stuff, please (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519837)

What about Antarctica?

Re:Isn't there ANY place that's free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519722)

I was going to say China, till i saw the last line ... so ... erhm nope, unless you consider antartica a country ?!

Re:Isn't there ANY place that's free? (1)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519747)

Crap! I guess I didn't read all his post... Oh well...

Re:Isn't there ANY place that's free? (3, Insightful)

bhima (46039) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519746)

The pendulum must swing quite a ways before it swings back. I expect the back lash to quite amusing, if the law is enacted, or enforced, or if anyone is actually prosecuted with it.

Still though, I wouldn't want to be the example or the trial case...

Re:Isn't there ANY place that's free? (4, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519756)

Traditionally that country would have been America. Go figure.

However, as long ago as 1870, when Jules Verne wrote 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, he had Captain Nemo note that the only place left free in the world was 30 feet under the surface of the sea, as even the sea's surface was no longer safe from police states.

Nowadays, of course, all the police states have hunter submarines.

KFG

Use the law against itself (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519692)

From the article:

"During the debates, the directive was widened to cover any infringement of intellectual property.

The directive allows companies to raid homes, seize property and ask courts to freeze bank accounts to protect trademarks or intellectual property they believe are being abused or stolen."


Time to get some obscure patents or copyrighted material, let it find its way into commercial and government use, and then use the law to raid the business and government offices and seize their assets.

*Companies*!?! (4, Insightful)

sonamchauhan (587356) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519699)

The article states:
The directive allows companies to raid homes, seize property and ask courts to freeze bank accounts to protect trademarks or intellectual property they believe are being abused or stolen.

Is this correct? Are companies going to be granted powers that had been restricted to law-enforcement (for good reasons) up until now?

Will Kodak be able to raid Sony [slashdot.org] to protect it's intellectual property?

There should be one penalty for both the little guy and the big guy - the law should not be a respecter of persons.

HEY MICHAEL! SHUT THE BLOODY FUCK UP! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519703)

We're capable of figuring it all out ourselves! Just post the damn article and SHUT THE FUCK UP! STOP PRETENDING YOU ARE SMART!

We already have a Euro-DMCA (4, Interesting)

e6003 (552415) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519705)

It's called the European Union Copyright Directive [ukcdr.org] and it was enacted into the national law of many member states last year. Imagine the fun if the worst provisions of this Directive get adopted into national law (they may not necessarily be so enacted [ffii.org] ) and the EU caves in over software patents [ffii.org] - could a programmer's bank account be frozen and his house be raided at midnight for unkonwingly infringing a trivial and obvious patent? As has been remarked round these parts, George Orwell was right but out by 20 years...

Using the law against those who wanted it... (2, Insightful)

pehrs (690959) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519717)

I have not read the full suggestion yet, but all these laws that allows a company to take police actions makes me begin wondering... What would happen if I created a recording company, published a single song and began raiding political offices and homes as we have "Proof" of them sharing our intellectual property? And raiding ISP to take their servers? This seems to me like they are writing away an important part of the legal security and this is something to be very very affraid of when it begins happening. Giving a company the power of the police (intrusion etc) is never a good thing.

Re:Using the law against those who wanted it... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519779)

You should know better than to go by the slashdot blurb. Your company would not get the right to do anything more than apply for the police to do the raid. And if it turns out that there was no IP infringement after all, your company must compensate the raided party for the losses caused. Good luck using this to harass anyone.

Is this normal in the EU? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519718)

Is this something that happens in other laws in the EU? Companies being allowed to perform as cops? Breaking into buildings to sieze evidence?!?

Man lately I'd been feeling that living in the US was getting pretty Draconian but at least I havn't heard anything about Microsoft getting the rights to do a midnight raid on my house to see if I have liscenses for all my software.

Of course knowing our overlords they've probably been able to do this for a while have kept the fact well hidden.

France are belong to us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519719)

The European law was shepherded through the European Parliament by MEP Janelly Fourtou, wife of Jean-Rene Fourtou who is boss of media giant Vivendi Universal.
Et VUla!

Vive la France! And thanks for the help, Europa.

age of enlightenment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519729)

Age of enlightenment and the free view upon information and knowledge that even the ancient world knew of, apparently is not good enough for our "modern" society.

Re:age of enlightenment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519797)

How much for enlightenment? How much if I want redistribution rights, too?

Wait for the First Prosecutions (1)

The Brain Murderer (641875) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519732)

If there is any sanity left in the world, the outcry at the rough handling that is bound to ensue (bullies never do things gently do they?) will have these 'laws' modified or repealed.

In the mean time, feel free to vote out politicians that seem to only remember to represent your views in their pre-election pamphlets...

(I live in the UK)

This is the final straw! (5, Funny)

Cooper_007 (688308) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519749)

I'm moving to America!

Oh wait...

Cooper
--
I don't need a pass to pass this pass!
- Groo The Wanderer -

Re:This is the final straw! (1)

l0wland (463243) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519774)

Me too, but at this very moment US-authorities are still investigating my fingerprints, creditcard-payments and medical info. After that, I can... oh wait...

Thank goodness I don't live in the E.U.! (5, Funny)

OldManAndTheC++ (723450) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519755)

Lucky for me I live in that bastion of individual freedom: the U.S. of A.!

Hang on, someone is knocking at the door...

Re:Thank goodness I don't live in the E.U.! (2, Funny)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519793)

Yeh, but we tend to answer the door with a twelve gauge.

Man this stuff is funny. EU politians need to lay off the drugs.

More info (4, Insightful)

l0wland (463243) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519760)

Here [eu.int]

I wonder if local authorities will allow non-official parties to enter your house without official government permission. The EU can decide this, but local authorities can still overrule it, AFAIK. But, IANAL.

Illegal File Sharing (1)

DaneelGiskard (222145) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519761)

So, a company holding the copyright on a movie/mp3 could raid the home of an end user if he illegaly downloads movies through some sort of P2P system for example? And confiscate his computer? Sounds nasty, I'm sure some companies in the USA would love to be able to do so as well ;-)

HM Customs can do this already in the UK (3, Informative)

Moderation abuser (184013) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519762)

Have been able to do it for hundreds of years. Their powers are greater than those of the Police. Nothing like the threat of a bit of tax evasion or smuggling to have the government breaking down your doors freezing your bank accounts and seizing your assets.

The reason I mentioned customs is that they handle fakes, counterfeiting etc here.

Human rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519776)

I haven't read the article (yet), but this caught my eye in the post:

with companies able to raid, confiscate and freeze the bank accounts of those accused of copyright infringement

This seems to breach a basic human right - that of being innocent until proven guilty. I'd argue that that type of action can't be taken until they are more than accused, there would have to already be a significant amount of evidence to allow that sort of action.

Nice (1)

Simple-Simmian (710342) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519804)

I am glad this got some editors attention. I submitted it yesterday afternoon. Now Hollowood and the recording business can smash some doors down in th EU too. Bastages. If I was in the EU I would be getting worked up plenty over this DMCA style crap.

One important point... (4, Informative)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519814)

One important detail that seems to have been missed out of the summary... (from the linked BBC article)

"But a late amendment limited them to organised counterfeiters and not people downloading music at home."

It's more than likely (2, Flamebait)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519822)

Being an European myself, I'm not surprised. Europe as such had always less serious approach to habeas corpus than America. In many European countries, police needs no warrant to search & seize private property. Police is not obliged to read the arrested person "his Miranda". When you are arrested in Europe and you'll say "hey! I have a right to make a phone call", the policeman is quite likely to say "no, you don't - you're watching too much American flicks". And he might be right. Of course, one can name many violations of individual freedom in the USA (especially in the past), but they are a violation of something that exists at least in theory. In Europe, it might not even be in theory, not to mention reality. Heck, Great Britain doesn't even have a constitution [charter88.org.uk] , so if you'll ever say "buddy, you violate my constitutional rights" to a British policeman, you will probably give him a good laughter.

One cannot forget that many European states had experiences with fascism, communism and other authoritarianisms. The lawmakers and administrators creating the democratic Germany and Austria had often Nazi or even SS past - like the infamous Theodor Oberlander [wiesenthal.com] or Kurt Waldheim [msn.com] . But similar affairs of the "Vichy past" were striking the French public life, and actually the Spanish "Guardia Civil" [guardiacivil.org] is exactly the same formation known as "death troops" during the Franco regime - they didn't even bother to change the name. The authoritarian past in Europe is not that distant - Spain, Portugal and Greece ended their dictatorships as late as in mid-1970's. Now Europe accepts fresh crop of authotirtarians from the post-communist states. The people who once sent other people to gulag and confiscated their "bourgeois property" will be the lawmakers in Strasbourg and Brussels. Along with the people who sent other people to "gaskammers" and confiscated their "Jewish property".

Yes, I am exaggerating (and maybe even flamebaiting ;-)), but that's because I am very much concerned by the direction the EU is turning to. But I want to emphasize the fact, that while "hey, it's against habeas corpus!" is still a valid argument in the USA (even if it will be overruled by the "what's good for RIAA/MPAA is good for everyone", also known as the Zero Amendment) - in Europe it might not even be a valid argument at all.
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