World Brief

Members of the European Union Parliament urged Brussels lawmakers on Thursday to beef up punishment for piracy.

There was a 900% increase in pirate goods intercepted by EU Customs between 1998 and 2001, according to EU figures, and counterfeiting and piracy costs 17,000 jobs a year and millions in lost tax revenue.

The MEPs also asked for campaigns to raise consumer awareness that piracy is not a victimless crime.

“We need to make them realize that buying a pirate CD is the same as if they were buying a stolen bicycle,” said Toine Manders, a former intellectual property lawyer and one of the sponsors of the declaration adopted by Parliament, which reps political parties from all 15 EU member states.

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