IPRED: the fake consultation of the European Commission

The European Commission launched in the end of 2012 a public consultation on IPRED, on which answers shoud be sent before March 30th, 2013. April deplores an upteemth consultation, which aim is to drag a red herring when no impact studies and consequences of the directive have been crafted.

IPRED ("intellectual property rights enforcement directive") is a text adopted by the European Parliament on October 3rd, 2004 and approved by the European Council on April 27th, 2004, which is a cause for concern for April. April had condemned during its adoption the undifferentiated worsening of sanctions regarding “intellectual property”.

Indeed, this text that combines different concepts (copyright, patents, brands, technical drawings, designs, etc.) under the same denomination of “intellectual property” maintains a blur on very dissimilar issues. Furthermore, it makes believe that these legal issues are similar to those pertaining to physical objects, even though we cannot apply the same thought patterns on physical goods and immaterial resources. April denounces this sustained confusion, which resembles a brainwash intended to fuel an ever more repressive logic1.

Despite these dangers, and despite the absence of any assessment of the effects of the directive, the European Commission announced its intention since 2010 to reform the text without ever questioning its primary logic. Instead of conducting the impact study that had yet been announced2, the European Commission multiplies consultations and events: a public consultation - to which April had replied (in French) - was launched in 2011. It was followed by a day of debates in 2011, in which April also took part.

Given the lack of recognition of these contributions, and confinement in a logical increasingly repressive, April denounces therefore the holding of this latest consultation and calls on the European Commission to finally present the results of the previous legislation, in order to start on concrete bases and allow a rebalancing of the legislation.

The association will not respond to the consultation, but keeps at the disposal of the Commission and of any person wishing to possibly answer, its answer to the previous consultation: since the issues and challenges that were developed have not been taken into account, the main issues raised in this document are still valid.

  • 1. For more information, see Did You Say “Intellectual Property”? It's a Seductive Mirage, by Richard Stallman.
  • 2. The impact study was announced by article 18 of the directive, but the report of the Commission states that "the Commission has not been able to conduct a critical economic analysis of the impact that the Directive has had on innovation and on development of the information society".