Expatica news

New law against illegal CD, DVD copying

4 March 2005

BRUSSELS – The Belgian parliament has passed a new controversial law that forbids copying CDs and DVDs to bring Belgian law into line with EU legislation, it was reported Friday.

“Better late than never,” Belgian daily La Libre Belgique declared of the legislation, passed some four years after the EU directive governing authors’ rights in the digital age took effect.

The main new factor of the Belgian legislation, approved by a vote of 80 to 14, is that it legalises the extremely controversial anti-copy devices designed to guard against piracy.

Legal expert Séverine Dusollier, who recently published a book on authors’ rights in the digital universe, is extremely critical of the text adopted by the chamber of deputies.

“The anti-copying devices authorise authors to control through technology all access and utilisation of the work,” she told La Libre Belgique, recommending less stringent measures.

She said that one should not punish those that simply violate the prohibition, but rather only those that do something “reprehensible” in the process.

It remains to be seen how the new law is put into practice.

Attorney Alain Berenboom, another specialist in the area, pessimistically noted that as usual, it all depends on the influence of the different lobbyists and ministers involved.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject : Belgian news