EU Strikes the Right Balance

The IFPI has come out in strong opposition to the European Union’s proposed Copyright Directive. The music industry body is unhappy that the proposals fall short of providing the legal framework to allow the industry to take large-scale legal action against individual file sharers.

I think there are two things at play.

Firstly – European law and legislation are notoriously complex and are characterised more often by compromise than action. This is because there is such diversity and variety within its member states. Thus this directive will be viewed in some countries as draconian, and in others as permissive. EU legislators know that if a Directive is to stand any chance of getting passed into law in each member state, then it must essentially be a compromise, occupying the middle ground.

Secondly – The IFPI is playing the bargaining game here. It is publicly setting its sights high, in the hope that it will at least get met half way.

I think this Directive has about got it right, and in its form stands a reasonable chance of becoming part of very day law throughout the region. It protects against mass piracy but doesn’t a legal basis for criminalizing small scale file sharers.

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