U.K. Considering Harsher Jail Sentences For Digital Music Pirates
The U.K. is considering a proposal to mete out a stiffer penalty to those who illegally distribute music online: Ten years in prison. The proposal aims to align the punishment for digital piracy with that of pirating physical goods. The current maximum penalty in the U.K. for infringing on digital copyrights is two years in prison.
“By toughening penalties for commercial-scale online offending we are offering greater protections to businesses and sending a clear message to deter criminals," U.K. Intellectual Property Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe told Music Business Worldwide.
The new maximum penalty, MBW reports, would apply to those who infringe on copyrights for the purpose of "large-scale financial gain."
In the meantime, the U.K. has initiated a broad anti-piracy PR campaign, as well as a new system of warnings for those who are being monitored for infringement.
In the U.S., copyright infringers face up to five years in prison for a first offense and 10 years for a second.