London, November 26:

The music and film industries are demanding that the European parliament extends the scope of proposed anti-terror laws to help them prosecute illegal downloaders. In an open letter to members of the European Parliament (MEPs), companies including Sony BMG, Disney and EMI have asked to be given access to communications data — records of phone calls, emails and internet surfing — in order to take legal action against pirates and filesharers. Current proposals restrict use of such information to cases of terrorism and organised crime.

“The scope of the proposal should be extended to all criminal offences,” says a letter to European representatives from the Creative and Media Business Alliance (CMBA), an informal lobby group representing media companies, “The possibility for law enforcement authorities to use data in other cases is essential.”