British government is considering jail sentences up to ten years for piracy




The British government is considering to increase prison sentences for piracy sharply. Where there are now up to two years’ imprisonment on online copyright infringement, there are plans to increase this to up to ten years.

British ministers have launched a public consultation which can respond to the plans, so reports the BBC. The maximum period of ten years’ imprisonment was chosen because it equals the term that stands for copyright infringement on physical goods. Even raising the maximum penalty should ensure that online pirates are deterred.

It is unclear whether the plans get the go. It is likely that the consultation is to provide a heated debate between copyright holders and consumers. The government argues that tougher penalties are needed to deter people to download illegally and even companies that offer content for better protection. Associations of copyright holders in the UK have also repeatedly asked for tougher action on illegal downloading.

Currently there is a maximum sentence of two years on online copyright infringement. The United Kingdom has long been a movement afoot to tighten the rules on copyright. Previously held the British High Court that it is already no longer allowed to make a private copy of a CD or DVD for instance. Copyright holders would not be adequately compensated for this.


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