IPRED-2: European Union looking to criminalise software development

Posted 27 Nov 2005 at 00:17 UTC by lkcl Share This

Yep. If ever there was an article title designed to catch your attention, this is it. And it's for real. From the FSF Europe web site:

 "Member States shall ensure that all intentional infringements
 of an intellectual property right on a commercial scale, and
 attempting, aiding or abetting and inciting such infringements,
 are treated as criminal offences."
 (Article 3. Page 6 of the dossier: com(2005)276)

Links i've found:

Basically, anyone developing selling or providing any software (Linux, Apache, MySQL, running a web site, hosting web sites, supplying desktop systems, pretty much anything) will be prosecuted under criminal law, if these Directives go through.

EU directives are instructions to governments within the EU to make laws that "conform" to the "directives". Ironically, if they get those laws WRONG, there is no requirement to CORRECT the mistakes - but that's another story.

I can't ... quite... believe this: it's not just in Free Software's best interests that this Directive gets shot in the head, it's also in the interests of proprietary software development houses, Games writers - everybody.

I mean - there's even a bit in this Directive which says "if you know someone's infringing, and you don't report it, you could go to jail, too".

This is complete insanity.

patents, posted 27 Nov 2005 at 11:57 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

btw - patents are included in the "intellectual property". and whilst you can't get a patent on "software" in the EU, you simply get a patent on "computer implemented invention" instead.

APIG, posted 27 Nov 2005 at 13:21 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

apig.org.uk - an opportunity for people in the UK to join in a public inquiry into "Digital Rights Management".

if you are in the UK, we need to see this as an opportunity to educate MPs and MEPs on these issues, so that they are not "caught out" by the incredible and stupid and power-hungry lobbying of the copyright-distribution-dependent industries.

IPRED-2, which is laudably intended to stop "piracy", is just one in a long chain of attempts by these industries: they won't stop there if that's defeated, they will continue on, and on, and on, and on, and will not stop lobbying in every possible way, utilising the money given to them by ordinary people seeking to be entertained by films and songs.

I find this to be incredible.

http://insight.zdnet.co.uk/business/legal/0,39020487,39211542,00.htm, posted 27 Nov 2005 at 13:49 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

oh my god, the directive (IPRED-1) has already been passed - back in march 2004, which is why the UK is undergoing its consultation to implement the directive.

i suggest people subscribe and communicate via this:

ipred-2 fsf europe mailing list

Stop piracy by promoting rape, posted 2 Dec 2005 at 15:48 UTC by aminorex » (Journeyer)

Since the metaphor of "piracy" is pervasively used to demonize copyright violation, I think it is only suitable and just that the metaphor of "rape" should be used to describe the strip-mining of public rights for private profit and the imposition of an alien proboscis into the most private lives of individuals against their will.

Buy, Play, Trade, Repeat, posted 8 Dec 2005 at 09:00 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

nytimes article - requires registration.

a musician speaks out against DRM, from a purely practical point of view: if their music isn't distributed (legally or illegally) then it won't be heard, it won't take off, they won't get a larger percentage of royalties.

if the music is difficult to get hold of, difficult to play, they won't get _any_ royalties.



why does DRM exist at all?

Anime Investment, posted 8 Dec 2005 at 09:07 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

fortune.com article by daniel roth.


Goldman Sachs forecasts virtually no growth in DVD sales for the major studios in 2006 and an outright decline in sales the year after that. In TV land, prime viewers are fleeing prime time: The networks have seen a 7.4% drop ...

Yet with anime and its print cousinthe paperback-sized cartoon books called mangathe otaku keep showing up, cash in hand. This tidy little corner of the show-biz universea market worth more than $625 million last year at retail in North America, of which AD Vision captured $150 millionmakes for a rare example of an entertainment niche that does more than not alienate its customers: It has found ways to keep them buying and buying.

[summary of next bit of article]:

companies are making money from conventions (25,000 fans turning up at $55 a head); t-shirts; comics based on the anime.

basically they're doing the same sort of thing as Disney.


also interesting:

According to the DVD Release Report newsletter, ADV's output is more than the combined DVD distribution of the top two American TV show distributors, Warner Bros. and Paramount.

and this is VERY pertinent:

ADV now gets about 90% of its $50 million in wholesale revenues from DVD sales, yet Ledford is determined to deliver content via whatever medium the fans want. "That's video-on-demand, that's mobile, that's going to our website and being able to buy an episode from us for four bucks. Instead of a DVD costing you 30 bucks, we'll sell you an episode. You can access our entire 500-terabyte library." The company's video- on-demand service, the Anime Network, is available in 28 million homes and ranks as one of Comcast's most popular on-demand channels, a

so it _can_ be done - it's just that the "big" players choose not to.

one thing i found fascinating about this article is that the anime [junkies? :) ] will get together to create dubbed versions of the films: transcripts, online peer review. translation, online peer review. subdivide the over-dubbing work, submit. other people spice the work, online peer review. release, review, distribute via bittorrent.

if at any time a commercial organisation gains the rights to distribute the anime in a particular country, the people distributing the open-source-community-generated translation PULL THE BITTORRENT IMMEDIATELY.

Sony BMG's Costly Silence, posted 8 Dec 2005 at 09:18 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

businessweek's analysis

"A DESPERATE ATTEMPT." Some say this episode shows that the recording
industry's attempts to use digital-rights management software to stem
the tide of piracy is fatally flawed. "Making digital files not copyable
is like making water not wet," says Bruce Schneier, chief technology
officer at security consulting firm Counterpane Internet Security. "You
can't do it. DRM is a desperate attempt to cling to their old business
model. They have to figure out how to make money in the new world."

i had an idea, and it's this: that we should be lobbying governments to pass laws that if content is _technically possible_ to be downloaded and paid for, and if the content is available for sale by means other than by download, it must be _made_ available for download - or it must be withdrawn from sale completely.

the qualifications are important.

the sale of goods is governed by contract law in the united kingdom, for example, and it involves several stages. one of those stages is the agreement of a price (which is separate from the "invitation to treat" stage, which is why prices always say "recommended retail price") and another involves agreement on exchange of goods in return for money.

once the agreement is reached, the actual acceptance of money and the actual acceptance of the goods are OPTIONAL!!!! after the agreement of exchange has been reached, if the money is refused or the goods are refused, this doesn't affect the other party's right to the money or the goods!

why i am mentioning this is because i believe that contract law should be augmented to include provisions for the _delivery_ of goods - namely that if the goods are "content" - namely they can be made "electronic"... you get the idea.

FSFEurope press release, posted 8 Dec 2005 at 09:24 UTC by lkcl » (Master)


the bit that's relevant is that it mentions a hearing, in brussels, over two _weeks_ ago.

"Yesterday there was a hearing in Brussels regarding the 'Intellectual Property Rights European Enforcement Directive' (IPRED2) - a directive pushed by the rights-holding industry to raise the barriers around their distribution monopolies.

Wikipedia Article, posted 8 Dec 2005 at 09:33 UTC by lkcl » (Master)


_very_ useful - _very_ helpful. particularly the additional links, one of which is by a patent lawyer.

FFII.de (wiki) report on the first hearing, posted 8 Dec 2005 at 09:36 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

ffii wiki

Brussels, Nov 22th 2005 -- European Parlement has driven a hearing on the proposed directive on criminal measures aimed at the prosecution of product piracy and counterfeit, especially in the context of organised crime. Because of careless drafting the text, known as IPRED 2 (2nd Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive) has severe flaws because it avoids clear definitions. FFII has pointed out some crucial dangers, specially concerning the criminalisation of daily business with patents and trademarks in such a "carpet-bombing lawmaking".


FFII.org (wiki) report, posted 8 Dec 2005 at 09:38 UTC by lkcl » (Master)


The European Parliament is facing a severe flawed directive on intellectual property rights. The careless drafted text does neither provide a definition of its scope, nor a useful characterization of the intended target: professional product counterfeit. Instead of a proper definition the commission proposal just rises the penalty on all infringements, ignoring their different natures. This is dangerous especially in the context of information goods and the context of trademarks, patents, and, most of all, where both come together.

EU criminal law crisis: IPRED2 derailed, posted 8 Dec 2005 at 09:44 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

November 23 2005: Because of a rule of the European Court of Justice related to criminal law, the current IPRED2 proposal is derailed due to procedural lack of competence. The Commission mentions the pending IPRED2 in its communication about the effects of the Court rule.

i... don't quite understand what's going on.

it _looks_ at first sight that the whole IPRED-2 thing is not to go ahead, because it doesn't follow rules on EU criminal law procedures. but on more careful reading, i believe it says that IPRED-2 needs to be modified to comply with the procedures, and that any country that has enacted laws that bring them into line with the "incorrect" IPRED-2 must now enact laws that reverse or correct matters.

(remember, the EU can only issue "directives" to governments that they must pass laws - the EU can't pass laws in individual countries, by itself).

in any case: read it for yourself, and completely ignore my comments above :)

FIPR comments, posted 8 Dec 2005 at 10:04 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

FIPR's response

at the risk of detracting from the rest of the response, which i thoroughly recommend you read for yourselves, i just wanted to put some thoughts down on this particularly interesting point:

(It's particularly interesting to note that while Microsoft is lobbying for IPRED 2 in Brussels, it's lobbying in the USA for less severe civil damages there - see here.)

what the _heck_??? given that sun microsystems and other software companies made representations at the IPRED-2 hearing, what the _hell_ is microsoft doing supporting IPRED-2?

the only possible explanation and conclusion that can be drawn is that they damn well know how much damage IPRED-2 can do, and want to ensure its success in order to do economic damage to Europe. if such damage occurs, then microsoft's world-wide bullying and strangulation of personal computing continues unchecked.


i get it.

they see it as the perfect way to damage free software. because they believe that they have enough money to fight criminal proceedings and lawsuits. they can always consider shutting down their european sales offices.

bloody hell.

Slyck interview with the MPAA, posted 24 Dec 2005 at 00:04 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

a useful and insightful article in which Dean Garfield talks honestly about the issues that the MPAA faces. The admissions and also their willingness to compromise and work with people is very interesting.

they realise that they really don't have a handle on the control of illegal activities [so _why_ the xxxx are they even _bothering_ when there are so any opportunities for abuse of these draconian and ill-thought-out laws???]

they would _love_ to hear from people who have any better ideas.

... anyone got any better ideas?

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