"It is about punishing mafia-style criminals, not about jailing kids who download music from the Internet," said Italian Socialist Nicole Zingaretti, who led the bill through the EU assembly.
Now Mr Zingaretti seems to return his view on the aim of the directive with this question to the Council on the timetable to adopt this directive:
5 February 2008
WRITTEN QUESTION by Nicola Zingaretti (PSE) to the Council
Subject: Criminal measures to enforce intellectual property rights
On 25 April 2007 Parliament adopted the report on the amended proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on criminal measures aimed at ensuring the enforcement of intellectual property rights (COM(2006)0168 — C6-0233/2005 — 2005/0127(COD)).
On 23 October 2007 the Court of Justice published its ruling in Case C‑440/05, in which it found that the Community legislator may impose effective, proportional and dissuasive criminal penalties on Member States in order to guarantee the full effectiveness of the rules it lays down.
Given the need for urgent action by the EU in response to the increasingly systematic violation of copyright by some Internet users, can the Council provide a time frame for discussion of the directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on criminal measures aimed at ensuring the enforcement of intellectual property rights?
The criminal sanctions directive might send internet downloaders in jail. The directive has passed the European Parliament in the complete ignorance of the majority of internet users. The rapporteur finally admits that this directive is all about sending filesharers to jail.
There is a need to alert the press about this masquerade. Most directives are adopted here in Brussels without even a press article. If a Minister would propose this in Belgium, everybody would know the day after. But the European press seems to be absent in the corridors of Brussels.