The UK Government has just increased the maximum sentence for illegal downloaders from two to ten years imprisonment in a new copyright legislation bill.
Online downloading and unauthorised sharing of movies, television and music is an offence the government now considers to be on par with full scale counterfeiting and therefore the sentencing for breaking the law should be the same.
It seems somewhat extreme compared to the sentences doled out for other more severe crimes and the public have spoken out against the new changes that have been added to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. The only change in whole of the legislation bill is that the previous maximum sentence of two years is changed to ten years, one word that could make a whole amount of difference for those who enjoy downloading torrents and passing files around between mates:
(3) In subsection (4A)(b) of that section, for “two” substitute “ten”.
(4) In section 198 (criminal liability for making, dealing with or using illicit recordings), for subsection (1A) substitute –
“(1A) A Person (“P”) who infringes a performer’s making available right in a recording commits an offence if P –
(a) knows or has reason to believe P is infringing the right, and
(b) either –
(i) intends to make a gain for P or another person, or
(ii) knows or has reason to believe that infringing the right will cause loss to the owner of the right,
or expose the owner of the right to risk a loss.
Source – www.legislation.gov.uk
It’ll be interesting to see if this increase in maximum punishment for online piracy will deter the act of illegal downloading – or whether people will actually now be more aware of the risk involved now that the government is taking a harsher action and previously we reported on the crackdown on torrent users by TV companies like HBO, broadcasters of pirates favourite Game of Thrones – a popular telly show that gets downloaded millions of times per each episode. We’d suggest perhaps thinking twice before clicking that link of things could get messier than a G.R.R Martin plot twist!
We’re afraid we can’t give you any tips on the best way to avoid a hefty fine or prison sentence for getting caught downloading torrents – but we can help you with a number of other gadget woes if you sign-up to our Gadget Helpline service! Check out our membership benefits and get a 30-day free trial today!