Bernd Neumann, the German federal government's minister for culture and the media, says he's committed to ensuring European countries receive the best possible legal basis for protecting copyrights.

Speaking at the Popkomm music conference in Berlin, the Minister said the government remains in favor of greater cooperation between copyright holders and Internet service providers to track and combat copyright breaches on the Internet.

"For this reason I have taken efforts to have this issue placed on the agenda of the EU Council of Ministers," he said.

A European Parliament vote defending the freedom of Internet users recently cast doubt on the French government's proposed "three strikes" scheme for persistent copyright offenders, although ministers there said the legislation would still go ahead (, Sept. 26).

Neumann was also critical of public prosecutors in Germany, saying they should not issue guidelines stipulating a minimum amount for the prosecution of copyright breaches.

Over the past few months, public prosecutors have complained that a deluge of copyright infringement charges meant it was no longer possible to handle them all.