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EU plan could imprison filesharers

Posted on Tuesday, July 06 2010 @ 21:37:39 CEST by

DailyTech reports a proposal for a new EU treaty called ACTA could lead to prison time for people who fileshare:
Details of the plan to criminalize filesharing just leaked thanks to a citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net. The document, found here [PDF], is entitled "ACTA Chapter 2 Criminal Provisions".

The new proposal would criminalize "infringements that have no direct or indirect motivation of financial gain" -- which currently would be considered a petty civil offense in most countries. The language about criminalization states "each party shall provide for effective proportionate and dissuasive penalties" to include "imprisonment and monetary fines".
Even worse, if the copyright holders have their way not only the downloading of illegal files but even Google searches could lead to hefty fines:
Previously published materials on the ACTA bill also reveal that it creates a new kind of crime called "imminent infringement" -- which could bring punishment to those who haven't even infringed. An example of such a thought-crime would be if you searched "torrent daft punk" in Google. The U.S. and copyright holders argue that if it can be shown you were thinking about committing piracy you've as much as committed a crime already.
The plan was revealed by the UK Intellectual Property Office, which has taken a stand against the ACTA legislation.



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