UK Bill Introduces 10 Year Prison Sentence for Online Pirates

An anonymous reader writes: The UK Government’s Digital Economy Bill, which is set to revamp current copyright legislation, has been introduced in Parliament. One of the most controversial changes is the increased maximum sentences for online copyright infringement. Despite public protest, the bill increased the maximum prison term five-fold, from two to ten years. Before implementing the changes the Government launched a public consultation, asking for comments and advice from the public. But, even though the vast majority of the responses urged the authorities not to up the prison term, lawmakers decided otherwise. As a result, a new draft of the Digital Economy bill published this week extends the current prison term from two to ten years (PDF). The relevant part amends the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, and simply replaces the word two with ten. Copyright holders have lobbied for this update for a long time. According to them, harsher penalties are needed to deter people from committing large-scale copyright infringement, something the Government agrees with.


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