Feeds

Tougher penalties for UK copyright thieves

Up to 10 years in jail

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

A Bill which increases the maximum penalty for copyright theft in the UK from two years to 10 years has become law.

The Private Member's Bill, introduced by Liberal Democrat MP Dr Vincent Cable, also gives the authorities increased provision to obtain search warrants and powers to seize goods.

The Copyright etc and Trade Marks (Offences and Enforcement) Bill passed smoothly through both houses of Parliament before receiving Royal Assent last Friday. It will be in force in the Autumn.

The main provisions of the Copyright etc and Trade Marks (Offences and Enforcement) Bill are:


  1. Increase the penalties for copyright offences from two years to 10 years. This matches the penalty for trade mark law and also conspiracy to defraud. This rise in the penalty will be sought for cases where copyright holders suffer serious damage. The new penalty will also apply to the production of unauthorised decoders.

  2. Strengthen search warrant powers for police officers to make it easier to expose counterfeiting so warrants can now be obtained for all copyright offences, including possession and sale of infringing articles/bootlegs.
  3. Amend the current law on forfeiture, "which is a disorganised mixture of civil and criminal provisions". The new legislation will replace this and give all copyright investigations the same rights of service and forfeiture found within trade mark legislation.

Dr Vince Cable, MP for Twickenham and Liberal Democrat shadow Trade and Industry Spokesman, expressed delight that his bill had successfully passed through Parliament. The bill gives many creative industries "effective legal remedies" to fight against counterfeiting and piracy they previously lacked, he added.

"I see the bill as a triple hit - it protects consumers, it strengthens the forces of law and order in dealing with serious villains, and it should greatly reduce the £8.5 billion a year losses suffered by British industry as a result of intellectual property theft," said Cable.

Lavinia Carey, Chair of the Alliance Against Counterfeiting and Piracy (an umbrella industry group representing games developers, the music business and software publishers), said the Bill was an important step in reforming copyright and trade mark law.

"We are now in discussion with the Government about how to improve resources for enforcement to protect industry and consumers from this pernicious crime [IP theft]." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.