The German IT news website heise.de is reporting today that two powerful members of the EU parliament want to broaden criminal enforcement rules against copyright infringement. Janelly Fourtou, who is married to the former Vivendi CEO Jean-René Fourtou, and her colleague Nicole Fontaine want file sharers to be treated the same way as commercial infringers.

Fontaine and Fourtou introduced several amendments to the second Intellectual Property Enforcement Directive that is currently being debated by a committee of the European parliament. Some of them just consist of striking the words "on a commercial scale" out of the original proposal, thus making every act of copyright infringement a criminal offense.

Others target specific types of copyright infringement. One example: Tourists that bring home counterfeit DVDs from their vacation could be treated the same way as the producers of these products. From the amendments:

"For the purposes of this Directive, 'counterfeiting' includes: (a) holding with no legitimate reason, importing under any customs arrangements or exporting goods presented under a counterfeit trade mark;"

Fourtou and Fontaine also want to increase minimum maximum (see comments for explanation) penalties for copyright infringements to fines of at least 600.000 Euro for serious cases, with the ability to go to ten times the profit made by the counterfeiter.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,