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Piracy United Kingdom

For Now, UK Online Pirates Will Get 4 Warnings -- And That's It 143

Posted by timothy
from the on-high-alert dept.
New submitter Tmackiller writes with an excerpt from VG247.com: The British government has decriminalised online video game, music and movie piracy, scrapping fuller punishment plans after branding them unworkable. Starting in 2015, persistent file-sharers will be sent four warning letters explaining their actions are illegal, but if the notes are ignored no further action will be taken. The scheme, named the Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (VCAP), is the result of years of talks between ISPs, British politicians and the movie and music industries. The UK's biggest providers – BT, TalkTalk, Virgin and Sky – have all signed up to VCAP, and smaller ISPs are expected to follow suit. VCAP replaces planned anti-piracy measures that included cutting users' internet connections and creating a database of file-sharers. Geoff Taylor, chief executive of music trade body the BPI, said VCAP was about "persuading the persuadable, such as parents who do not know what is going on with their net connection." He added: "VCAP is not about denying access to the internet. It's about changing attitudes and raising awareness so people can make the right choice." Officials will still work to close and stem funding to file-sharing sites, but the news appears to mean that the British authorities have abandoned legal enforcement of online media piracy. Figures recently published by Ofcom said that nearly a quarter of all UK downloads were of pirated content." Tmackiller wants to know "Will this result in more private lawsuits against file sharers by the companies involved?"
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For Now, UK Online Pirates Will Get 4 Warnings -- And That's It

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  • Re:Illigal or not? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Albanach (527650) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @08:28AM (#47507193) Homepage

    It's never been criminal.

    Are you a lawyer in the UK? The Crown Prosecution Service say that [cps.gov.uk] deliberate infringement may be criminal.

    The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 [legislation.gov.uk] also lists criminal penalties such as those copied below. It might be worth getting competent legal advice given jail time is a pretty significant punishment.

    (2A)A person who infringes copyright in a work by communicating the work to the public—
        (a)in the course of a business, or
        (b)otherwise than in the course of a business to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright,
    commits an offence if he knows or has reason to believe that, by doing so, he is infringing copyright in that work.

    (4A)A person guilty of an offence under subsection (2A) is liable—
        (a)on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or a fine not exceeding £50,000, or both;
        (b)on conviction on indictment to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both.

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