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European Commission Steps Up Fight Against Piracy

Last week the Commission in Brussels presented a series of new tools to protect intellectual property rights.
The below mentioned four areas of activities are announced and in particular: supporting industry-led initiatives, including advertisers’ voluntary renunciation of advertising placement on piracy sites; application of blockchain-based anti-piracy technologies, detailed guidance on how the relevant current laws should be interpreted; targeted support for third countries’ governments so as to provide the global reach of the anti-piracy effort.
The operation area is aimed first and foremost at cutting off / reducing revenues to piracy sites. Therefore the two major target groups are as follows: advertisers and payment systems/services. According to the Commission “Voluntary agreements can lead to faster action against counterfeiting and piracy than court actions.”
That means in fact that the Commission proceeds with implementing the so-called “follow the money” approach which focuses on the B2B relations in the piracy ecosystem rather than on end consumers.
It was for the first time that a new tool was brought to the agenda and namely that of blockchain technology. Last week Brando Benifei MEP published an article on the issue in Euractiv. Benifei mentions tha the blockchain technology can help independent artists collect royalty payments without the need for middlemen. In a similar vein, blockchains can also be used to track the unauthorized distribution of works.
The European Commission also released a new guidance on how the current IPR Enforcement Directive (IPRED) of 2004 should be interpreted, taking into account various recent developments, including landmark EU Court of Justice rulings. The guidance explains how and when it’s appropriate to issue website blocking orders, The comprehensive guidance also covers the issue of filtering. However, the Commission notes that in some specific cases, hosting providers (e.g. YouTube) can be ordered to monitor uploads. This is in line with a recent recommendation that suggested that online services should implement measures to automatically detect and remove suspected illegal content.
“Today we boost our collective ability to catch the ‘big fish’ behind fake goods and pirated content which harm our companies and our jobs,” Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska announced.
After European Commission and Torrent Freak sites.

  

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