EC to allow personal copy of digital content

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The European Parliament voted in favor of allowing people to copy digital content such as music and films on CDs or from the Internet as long as the copying is not for commercial purposes.

A huge majority of 471 parliamentarians supported an amendment to the copyright directive that grants personal copying an exception while 53 members opposed the amendment and 23 abstained, according to parliament spokeswoman Marjory Van den Broeke.

A total of 15 amendments were dropped, including one allowing broadcasters to retransmit films over the Internet without the author's permission. The exception for private copying was one of nine amendments adopted.

Wednesday's vote followed the European Parliament's second reading of a directive on copyright and related rights in the information society. The text, including the parliament's amendments, will go before government ministers. If they agree to the parliament's amendments, the directive will be passed and referred to the 15 member states of the European Union to be transposed into national law.

Copyright February 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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