Berlin proposes warnings and surcharges for downloaders
A German government "position paper" called Friday for a system of warnings to combat illegal downloading of copyright material on the internet, but made no mention of draconian penalties, dpa reported.
The paper, issued by Chancellor Angela Merkel's top culture official, said the standard penalty for downloading a pirated song should be paying double the normal rights fee to the copyright owner.
A French law that allows a judge to cut off the internet connections of illegal downloaders led to protests in that nation.
State minister for culture Bernd Neumann did not mention any sanctions going beyond Germany's existing legal remedies. Currently, German music companies usually demand damages and their legal fees if they catch a downloader.
Neumann called for internet pirates to receive one personal warning by e-mail first, with legal cease-and-desist letters and complaints to the police to follow if the web user offends again.