Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Draconian increases proposed in copyright penalties

There are several criminal offences in the copyright world, dating back to the time when piracy as we understand the term nowadays started to become a significant problem, in the early 80s. The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 has had its collection of offences added to with subsequent amendments. Now the list comprises:
  • s.107 – criminal liability for making or dealing with infringing articles etc;
  • s.198 – criminal liability for making, dealing with or using illicit recordings;
  • s.296ZB – devices and services designed to circumvent technological measures;
  • s.297 – offence of fraudulently receiving programmes;
  • s.297A – Unauthorised decoders.
Gowers recommended that the penalties for online and other activities be brought into line, which meant increasing the penalties for online infringements. The fines would only apply to commercial-scale activities. There would be a single maximum penalty on summary conviction of £50,000 for all the offences under the Act, although the consultation paper explores several different ways to implement this. At present, the statutory maximum fine is a mere £5,000, which is generally considered to be an inadequate deterrent where large illegal profits can be made.

No comments:


blogger templates | Make Money Online