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United Kingdom Crime Piracy Your Rights Online

Cameron's IP Advisor: Throw Persistent Copyright Infringers In Jail 263

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from TorrentFreak: "During a debate on the UK's Intellectual Property Bill, the Prime Minister's Intellectual Property Adviser has again called for a tougher approach to online file-sharing. In addition to recommending 'withdrawing Internet rights from lawbreakers,' Mike Weatherley MP significantly raised the bar by stating that the government must now consider 'some sort of custodial sentence for persistent offenders.' Google also got a bashing – again." The article goes on to say "Weatherley noted that the Bill does not currently match penalties for online infringement with those available to punish infringers in the physical world. The point was detailed by John Leech MP, who called for the maximum penalty for digital infringement to be increased to 10 years’ imprisonment instead of the current two years."
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Cameron's IP Advisor: Throw Persistent Copyright Infringers In Jail

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  • Re:rights (Score:4, Informative)

    by shentino ( 1139071 ) <> on Thursday January 23, 2014 @12:20PM (#46046773)

    If you can withdraw it, it's a privilege.

  • Re:Ob frosty (Score:5, Informative)

    by NotSanguine ( 1917456 ) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @12:23PM (#46046823) Journal

    He's my MP, but I'm afraid I can't report on his file-sharing habits.

    And to lend some context to his words, from TFA:

    “The discrepancy I mentioned is a source of great frustration. For example, the private prosecution by the Federation Against Copyright Theft of Anton Vickerman, who was making £50,000 a month from running a website [SurfTheChannel] that facilitated mass-scale copyright infringement, saw him convicted of conspiracy to defraud and sentenced to four years in prison,” Leech explained.

    “This level of sentence would not have been possible if he had been prosecuted under copyright law, but FACT was able to prove conspiracy in his actions. Without proof of conspiracy, a serious criminal could have been left subject to a disproportionately low maximum penalty.”

    In a way, I do agree with his point; those making that sort of money from infringement do need to be punished properly. However, it'll be all too easy to abuse this sort of measure, and end up with the disproportion going the other way.

    The crime here was fraud. The guy sold something he did not have the rights to sell. Kind of like someone selling your house without your knowledge. IANAL, but as I understand it, we have laws (as was seen in this case) that address these issues. Sending someone to prison for ten years (or at all) for downloading the latest episode of some crap TV show or movie for their personal use is ridiculous. That is and should be a civil matter, IMHO.

  • Re:rights (Score:5, Informative)

    by causality ( 777677 ) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @12:47PM (#46047103)

    So which is it: Do you oppose putting anybody in jail, or do you think freedom of movement isn't a fundamental right?

    Generally this is resolved by only depriving people of civil rights with due process (but the US government is increasingly finding ways around that pesky little detail...).

    Likewise, there is too much ignorance about the purpose of juries. The purpose of a jury is not merely to determine if the person transgressed a law. The purpose is also to determine if that law should be enforced. If I for one were ever on a jury and the accused is on trial for a nonviolent marijuana possession charge, I would acquit him or her even if I were certain that they did in fact do the deed, because I fundamentally believe that regulating the consciousness of adult people is beyond the scope of government.

    Jury nullification [] is an interesting read, though if you are familiar with it and make this known, you are not likely to be selected for a jury. This demand for mindlessly applying a set of rules with no judgment is a sure sign of a broken system.

  • Re:rights (Score:4, Informative)

    by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @01:09PM (#46047395) Homepage Journal

    Uh, no selective application of the law is the entire purpose of trials. Using circumstance, evidence, and judgement to determine whether the law can and should apply.

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson