Tuesday 8 June 2010

Armenia proposes to get tough with infringers

If you're thinking of a safe haven from which to practise the non-so-subtle arts of copyright infringement and have been checking the prices of luxury apartments in Armenia, think again. A news item from Eastern Europe and Caucasus-focused IP practice Petosevic, "Bill Tightening Penalties for Copyright Violation Introduced in Armenian Parliament", warns that things are only likely to get tougher for infringers there.

Right: Armenian prisons to welcome copyright infringers?

A bill aimed at increasing the penalties for copyright violation was introduced in the Armenian Parliament in late April. Its objective is to protect the rights of authors, to which end it calls for mandatory marking of audio and video information carriers with hologram labels.

The bill provides for a penalty to the value of US$ 2,500 (EUR 2,030) for a first offence [this is more than twice Armenia's gross per capita annual consumption], with a prison sentence of up to 12 months for second and subsequent offenders. The most recent BSA survey showed Armenia among the top nations for software piracy, where 93% of computer programs are reported to be illegal.

For prison conditions in Armenia click here

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