EU tightens piracy restrictions

New rules won't outlaw downloading music from Internet

BRUSSELS — Producers and retailers of counterfeit goods could face jail or heavy fines as part of the European Union crackdown on piracy unveiled Tuesday.

Making fake goods for commercial gain will be a criminal offence in all member states, plugging the differences in piracy laws between European countries.

But the new rules will not outlaw downloading music from the Internet, which has angered the Intl. Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

“In view of the piracy epidemic, we were looking for a very strong political signal,” said the IFPI’s European director Frances Moore. “The recording industry is extremely disappointed and we will press hard to strengthen this legislation in the European Parliament.”

“These rules will greatly improve the situation for the record companies,” said EU spokesman Jonathon Todd. “But we feel that it would be disproportionate to criminalize free download sites on the Internet.”

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