Digital copies of TV programs banned

BERLIN — Germany’s upper house of parliament on Friday approved a controversial copyright law, which makes it all but illegal for individuals to make copies of films and music, even for their own use.

The Bundesrat pushed aside criticism from consumer protection groups and passed the law, which makes it illegal for anyone to store DVDs and CDs without permission. The law also covers digital copies from IPTV and TV broadcasts.

Consumer groups and the Green Party had campaigned in vain to include a “bagatelle exemption,” so that the measure would not “criminalize” youths and other private users. The law is set to take effect in 2008.

The law goes beyond previous legislation brought in by the German government to help the entertainment industry. Germany’s federal justice minister Brigitte Zypris claimed that the legislative reform brought German law into line with European Union codes.

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