The European Union is expected to agree to new rules this week that will clamp down on movie and music pirates following a long legislative battle, according to E.U. sources last Friday.

BRUSSELS--The European Union is expected to agree to new rules this week that will clamp down on movie and music pirates following a long legislative battle, according to E.U. sources last Friday.

The European Parliament, the EU's elected assembly, is expected to vote in Strasbourg, France on Tuesday for new laws that call on national governments to introduce "effective, proportionate and dissuasive" measures against such counterfeiters and Internet pirates.

The text represents a compromise for the Parliament, however, after it had sought much tougher language. The author of the Parliament's draft law, French conservative Euro MP Janelly Fourtou, had originally asked for "criminal sanctions, including imprisonment" for people found guilty of breaching intellectual property rights.

But when it came to negotiations with national governments, Fourtou was told that the issue of criminal sanctions fell outside the EU's jurisdiction. The law will now leave it up to national governments alone to decide how to punish pirates and counterfeiters.

The compromise is said to also drop Fourtou's proposal to let copyright holders seek damages worth double the royalties or fees that would normally have been charged. The text now sets claims at the actual economic harm suffered by the rights holder.

The draft law is to cover movies, music, software, toys, and pharmaceuticals as well as patents, copyrights, trademarks and registered designs. If the law is voted for on Tuesday, it could be rubber-stamped within days by E.U. ministers.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print