Germany has changed its intellectual property legislation by adding new sanctions for those who exchange copyrighted music.
Introduced with the aim of aligning domestic legislation with the new European standards in this sense, German legislation becomes one of the toughest in Europe, providing prison sentences of up to two years for anyone who downloads protected content, even for personal use.
Whenever the end of the copies is commercial, the prison sentences for periods up to five years increase.
The new legislation also aims to help reduce piracy in a country where 20 million copies are made annually, quotes The Times.
Passed at the end of last week, the new legislation goes into effect on the first day of next year, but has already been challenged by consumer groups who consider it an attempt to turn consumers into criminals.
It is recalled that France has also changed its legislation in this area by introducing tougher penalties, which also reach prison in the most serious cases.
2006-03-17 – French parliament tightens piracy sanctions online
2006-03-14 – iTunes exclusivity threatened by new French law on intellectual property
2006-03-13 – Music market falls 50% with increasing use of P2P networks
2005-12-23 – French government bill provides for unlimited file sharing online