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Internet pirates can now receive up to ten years in prison

Written by Samuel O'Toole on 04 May 2017

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The Digital Economy Bill has now received royal assent and this now makes it the Digital Economy Act 2017.

The Act covers a wide range of areas including government data sharing, online pornography and broadband speeds. However, what we are really interested in is how it will affect internet media pirates.

Previously, the maximum punishment for people that have committed copyright infringement was two years. Now, thanks to the Act, this has been increased to ten years. In theory, a person who is caught streaming media illegally via websites, torrents and Kodi will be liable for this lengthier sentence.

Although, it is not the average Joe who is streaming this week’s episode of Eastenders that the Act has been designed for. It is more likely that the people that have made a business from selling the illegal content will be prosecuted under the Act.

“A person…who infringes copyright in a work by communicating the work to the public commits an offense if [the person] knows or has reason to believe that [they are] infringing copyright in the work, and…knows or has reason to believe that communicating the work to the public will cause loss to the owner of the copyright, or will expose the owner of the copyright to a risk of loss.”

Above is a relatively short extract from one of the many sections of the Act, in short it means that any person who has illegally uploaded or downloaded any form of media will now be criminals and liable for the ten year sentence.  

As to the effectiveness of the Act, we will have to wait and see, for now a ten year sentence could be on the cards many internet pirates. 

If you'd like to know more about this article please send an email to Michael Coyle quoting the article title and any questions you might have, alternatively call the office number on 02380 235 979 or send an enquiry through our contact form.

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