A BBC report details a new European Union law that ‘allows companies to raid homes, seize property and ask courts to freeze bank accounts to protect trademarks or intellectual property they believe are being abused or stolen.

The European Parliament has passed an anti-piracy law, covering everything from handbags to music downloads.

Under the law, counterfeiters could face civil penalties, but proposals for criminal sanctions were dropped.

Before the vote, critics said the law was flawed as it applied the same penalties to both professional counterfeiters and consumers.

But a late amendment limited them to organised counterfeiters and not people downloading music at home.

More here.