London
06 March 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

ORG and UKIPO clash over 10-year sentences


Changes must be made to the criminal online copyright provisions of the Digital Economy Bill to prevent minor infringers from serving up to a decade behind bars, according to the Open Rights Group (ORG).

ORG argued in a blog post that the UK government should adjust its proposals to set a “threshold of ‘commercial scale loss’” to give the public, lawyers and courts a “clear indication that minor acts of file sharing or unlicensed online publication would be unlikely to meet the thresholds of ‘serious risk’ or ‘commercial scale’ losses”.

Such a threshold would make it harder for minor infringers to be sentenced to the new standardised 10-year maximum sentence for online and physical copyright infringement.

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) responded in a statement to ORG’s claims that the new 10-year sentence for online infringement could be handed out to minor infringers, stating that it is “highly unlikely that small, unintentional infringement would be caught by this offence”.

“A person who believed that their acts fell within a copyright exception, such as that relating to criticism or review or quotation, would not be guilty of an offence,” the UKIPO said.

Jim Killock, executive director of ORG, said the UK government hasn’t “adequately explained why they cannot or should not introduce a threshold for criminality”.

"ORG supporters asked for small and sensible changes to the Digital Economy Bill, which would reduce the risk of ordinary people facing the threat of criminal charges.”

“Without these changes, we could see people being exploited by copyright trolls and threatened with prison sentences for minor offences.”

More Copyright news
The latest news from IPPro The Internet
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
Sci-Hub holds more than two thirds of all scholarly articles
16 August 2017 | | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Academic pirate website, Sci-Hub contains nearly 69 percent of all 81.6 million scholarly articles, which rises to 85 percent for those published in closed access journals
Take-Two scores slam dunk in NBA case
14 August 2017 | New York | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The maker of the NBA 2K video game series, Take-Two, has won the dismissal of statutory damages of as much as $150,000 per copyright infringement in its legal battle with Solid Oak Sketches
ImageRights acquires Image Witness
11 August 2017 | Boston | Reporter: Barney Dixon
ImageRights said the acquisition will bolster its “technology leadership position in the fast-growing copyright enforcement services industry”
Binded announces US Copyright Office integration
09 August 2017 | San Francisco | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Blockchain-based copyright protection startup Binded has introduced one click-registration with the US Copyright Office
US right to indict KickAss Torrents founder
08 August 2017 | Illinois | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The US government was right to indict Artem Vaulin, the founder of peer-to-peer file sharing site KickAss Torrents, a US judge has ruled
South African copyright changes draw criticism
07 August 2017 | Cape Town | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The South African Copyright Amendment Bill has faced major criticism in the build up to its implementation, with several content creators coming out against many of its provisions
Photographer could get monkey off his back
07 August 2017 | San Francisco | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The ‘monkey selfie’ lawsuit could be settling down, after a motion to stay the appeal was filed by both parties