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
Radiohead sue Lana Del Rey for copyright infringement
8 January 2018 | New York | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Radiohead are suing Lana Del Rey for copyright infringement, claiming that the Del Rey’s 2017 song Get Free was similar to their 1992 song Creep
Glosfer and Gemmy to create blockchain copyright protection platform
4 January 2018 | Seoul | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Blockchain firm Glosfer has signed a memorandum of understanding with copyright protection company Gemmy to create a blockchain-based copyright protection platform
Dish Network sues IPTV providers
4 January 2018 | Maryland | Reporter: Barney Dixon
US satellite TV network Dish has sued two IPTV providers, claiming that they profit from the unlawful retransmission of Dish TV channels
Spotify sued for $1.6 billion over copyrighted works
3 January 2018 | California | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Spotify has been sued for $1.6 billion by Wixen Music Publishing, which represents artists including Tom Petty, Neil Young and the Beach Boys
Facebook slams infringing content in first half of 2017
19 December 2017 | California | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Facebook removed more than 2.5 million pieces of copyright infringing content across its Facebook and Instagram social media platforms in the first half of 2017, according to the company’s annual transparency report
APLA and French police take down piracy site
14 December 2017 | Bordeaux | Reporter: Barney Dixon
A joint operation between French police and the ALPA has resulted in the closure of piracy streaming website, artv.watch
PSNI, HMRC and FACT seize 50 illegal streaming devices
08 December 2017 | Belfast | Reporter: Barney Dixon
A joint operation between UK enforcement bodies has resulted in the seizure of 50 illegal streaming devices