The transposition of Directive 16/2008, of 1 April, the same that transposes into law the law 2004/48 / EC – of the European Parliament and of the Council – on the respect of intellectual property rights, was discussed at second morning session of the 1st National Congress on Intellectual Property.
Luis Menezes Leitão, from the Faculty of Law of Lisbon, outlined the framework of the rule explaining that its implementation follows «the increasing rate of piracy and the violation of copyright and intellectual property».
According to the same speaker, this law will allow states to penalize all offenders accused of violating intellectual property rights, regardless of the scale of the crime. In this context, measures are established that alone make the legal obligations and the civic duty to respect registered property more rigid.
However, the complexity of the law arises when it is time to set up damages. Here, Luis Menezes Leitão says that the courts will be faced with two alternatives that address different concepts. The first refers to the penalty for moral and economic damages and leads the court to fine the accused for all damages caused to the injured party, while the second only provides for the possibility of establishing a fine based on a fixed price, which the offender has to reset and that corresponds to the amount that would be charged when selling a license.
This fact, in the teacher’s opinion, will make the implementation of the law uncertain as regards compensation for injured parties.
In a parallel session, online crimes and the damage caused by them were addressed. The use of P2P networks, the sale of software electronic fraud and other illegal trading methods are already responsible for losses in the order of $ 1 billion. This figure, calculated by the FBI, tends to increase and is worrying at a time when research data shows that the profits obtained from the sale of counterfeit products are not only used for the offenders’ own profit but also to subsidize organized crime.
Pedro Verdelho, Public Prosecutor, explained that there is information that indicates that part of the costs that supported the March 11 attacks in Madrid were obtained from the sale of illegal products, such as pirated CDs, DVDs and software illegal.
However, crime online it cannot be fully controlled, especially at the private level. The Magistrate explained that the law does not allow interception of communications, including electronic ones, so it is difficult to reach the identification of users.
On the sidelines of the session, António Nunes, inspector general of ASAE, explained to TeK that this is one of the points that conditions investigation operations in cases of piracy. The lack of legal conditions that allow the identification of offenders makes the fight against piracy more complicated when illegalities are committed on a small scale.
Asked about the improvements that would bring about the implementation of a law similar to those applied by the British and French government, which provide for the suspension of Internet accounts of users suspected of making downloads other illegal activities on the Internet, António Nunes, said that this would be an important step in terms of combating electronic counterfeiting, although this possibility is not even foreseen in the directive that will come into force.
The inspector general of ASAE said that among the possible solutions to minimize the damage and increase the fight against illegality, he would have to go through greater collaborations between the public and private national and international sectors, the specialization of the investigation forces and civic and information campaigns. awareness of users.
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