Germany cracks down on copying

New copyright law is controversial

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 an 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 government to help the entertainment industry. Germany’s federal justice minister Brigitte Zypris claimed that the legislative reform brought Germany into line with European Union codes.

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