EU adds its thoughts to the piracy debate

Just a week after the UK government's commissioned Hargreaves Report delivered its recommendations to protect intellectual property the EU has had its go at protecting copyright. The EU is at the stage of reviewing its options but in an update on its progress indicated that some of the possibilities

Just a week after the UK government's commissioned Hargreaves Report delivered its recommendations to protect intellectual property the EU has had its go at protecting copyright.

The EU is at the stage of reviewing its options but in an update on its progress indicated that some of the possibilities include cracking down harder on ISPs and establishing a European wide patent system.

The initial focus of any EU effort will be around protecting music but IP protection will extend through to software, films and games.

"Ensuring the right level of protection of intellectual property rights in the single market is essential for Europe's economy," EU Internal Markets Commissioner Michel Barnier said in a statement.

He said the challenge would be getting the balance right between protecting rights and encouraging competition.

Last week the Hargreaves Report concluded that the copyright laws needed to be updated for the Internet age with more recognition of the need for users to copy their own purchased content and it also advised the formation of an agency to mediate between those wanting to license content and the rights holders.

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