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Thumbs up New European piracy ‘alarming’ - 21-July-2009, 12:50

European piracy ‘alarming’

Chris Forrester

AEPOC, Europe’s anti-piracy association, says it is alarmed about piracy in Europe and specifically that more needs to be done to educate the public about the damage done by piracy.

Jean Grenier, AEPOC’s director general, says “Piracy is not a sport, it remains a theft. The election of the Pirate Party shows there is confusion among voters on this matter.” He added that the time had come for the EU to deliver stronger protection for audio-visual content.

The entry of the “Pirate Party” in the European Parliament forces national governments and the EU to take up a stance over their position towards audio-visual piracy: During the recent board meeting of AEPOC, Europe’s flagship anti-piracy association for the protection of encrypted works and services, AEPOC discussed the “Pirate Bay” sentence in Sweden and the election of the “Pirate Party” into the European Parliament. AEPOC views the “success” of the Pirate Party, which questions the concept of intellectual property and copyright, and calls for the general removal of patent protections, as a strong alarm signal. “This should act as a wake-up call for national governments and the European Commission to take a clear position on piracy matters“, said AEPOC’s Grenier.

The vote for the Pirate Party follows the closure of “The Pirate Bay” file-sharing website by a Swedish court in April this year – an outcome that upset users and resulted in their sympathetic votes being cast on this single issue in the European elections.

“The creative industry and political decision makers should draw a very clear line against cyber crime, as our society and economy relies increasingly on internet-based or other digital services,” added Grenier. “The internet must not be a lawless territory that excuses or condones crime, be it theft, counterfeiting or child abuse.”

Grenier continued: “This is particularly relevant with regard to the younger members of our society who are susceptible to the message of the Pirate Party, a message which appears romantic, yet is criminal at its core.”

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