Expatica news

Belgium plans crackdown againstintellectual property crimes

18 August 2004

BRUSSELS – Belgian is planning to crack down on counterfeiters and other types of intellectual-property crime, according to press reports.

Several new initiatives are in the pipeline, with federal ministers of finance, justice and economy all preparing different laws to tackle the growing problem in areas such as music recording and information technology.

One plan for examples seeks to make it easier for music producers to more easily file a complaint against alleged counterfeiters and to better calculate the potential damage caused by such crimes.

Another would significantly raise the fine to be paid for those found guilty of intellectual property crime.

IFPI, the organisation representing the recording industry worldwide, told La Vie du Net, a unit of Le Soir online, that it welcomed the move.

“We already have many laws aimed at combating these phenomena but they are not applied,” said Marcel Heymans, the group’s director-general.

However, he said he does not believe any new laws will eradicate the problem, given that police and justice authorities have insufficient means at their disposal to go after alleged perpetrators.

An estimated 35 percent of compact discs sold worldwide are pirated copies.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news