UK Introduces 10 Year Prison Sentences to Combat Online Piracy

UK Introduces 10 Year Prison Sentence To Combat Online Piracy
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Want to stop piracy? Try 10 year jail sentences…

The UK’s current copyright legislation is set for an overhaul, thanks to the introduction of the Digital Economy bill.  This bill has been focused on implementing harsher sentences for online piracy.

The current legislation states that the maximum prison sentence for online copyright infringement is two years, and the UK government has argued that this isn’t enough to deter piracy.  Now, despite public protests, the bill has increased the maximum from two to ten years.

This decision comes after a study in March of last year, one commissioned by the UK Intellectual Property Office.  The study looked into the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1998, specifically to see if there were any amendments needed to better handle online copyright infringers.

In June last year, the government launched a consultation to see if the public agreed on a harsher penalty.  The government ultimately concluded that they ”believe that a maximum sentence of 10 years allows the courts to apply an appropriate sentence to reflect the scale of the offending.”

The government also added that the maximum sentence will only be applied in rare circumstances.  People casually sharing files online are unlikely to bear the brunt of such a harsh sentence.  However, those people who are part of a more organized piracy consortium, including P2P groups, are likely to be punished with longer terms.


(Image by Global Panorama, Creative Commons, Attribution-Share Alike 2.o Generic, cc by-sa 2.0)

8 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    This is the batshit crazy way to “fight piracy”

    • Rick Shaw

      The only downside is that it costs taxpayers. The term is definitely prohibitive to the crime…provided they enforce it.

    • FarePlay

      Your recommendation?

      Letter of apology like Groveshark? Or a financial judgement that will never be paid?

  2. Versus

    It’s a good idea, but financial penalties would be better – or financial penalties in addition to jail time.

    And use the fines to compensate rights holders for their losses.

    • Rick Shaw

      Financial penalties are only a good option if you can retrieve the penalty. Time is something everyone has.

  3. Anonymous

    “The government also added that the maximum sentence will only be applied in rare circumstances”

    So what’s the problem?

    These creeps steal for billions every year. Not just from musicians, either.

  4. Sakis Gouzonis

    Who downloads music illegally these days? There is so much free and legal music in our days. Piracy shouldn’t even exist. I guess some people have a hard time finding professional artists online that are giving away their own music for free. Google search engine can be really helpful.

  5. Anonymous

    And what’s the taxpayer cost for a 10 year jail sentence?

    Curious so I just looked it up. This is the U.S., but it’s probably comparable.

    “A report by the organization, “The Price of Prisons,” states that the cost of incarcerating one inmate in Fiscal 2010 was $31,307 per year. “In states like Connecticut, Washington state, New York, it’s anywhere from $50,000 to $60,000,”