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Music Industry Slates Piracy Measures

Music industry bosses have attacked proposals by the European Commission to try and reduce piracy, describing them as "inadequate". The Commission's draft directive on Thursday called for counterfeiters to be jailed and their bank accounts frozen.

But it does not want to criminalise people who download music from the internet for their own use.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said the measures failed to introduce "urgently needed measures to hold back the epidemic of counterfeiting".

An IFPI statement said: "The Commission's unambitious draft directive fails to introduce harmonisation at the levels necessary to ensure that pirates can no longer play on national differences to avoid detection and prosecution."

The directive is designed to cut down on all forms of piracy, which the Commission estimates mean the loss of 17,000 industry jobs a year.

It aims to harmonise existing legislation across the European Union.

But the IFPI said proposals to bring action against pirates "do not even reach the levels already available under some existing national laws".

The organisation said in Europe, film, video, music, business and leisure software industries suffer losses in excess of 4.5bn euros annually.

Internal market commissioner Frits Bolkestein said: "Pirates and counterfeiters are in effect stealing from right holders the fair payment they deserve for their work."

The directive will now go forward to the European Parliament and the EU's Council of Ministers for adoption.

According to