UK Looks To Increase Penalties For Commercial Online Copyright Infringement 10X

from the wrong-direction dept

When the "Gowers Report" on copyright first came out in the UK, we pointed out that it had a lot of bad ideas included. The one good point was that copyright length shouldn't be extended any more. So, now that the UK is planning to ignore that one good suggestion, it's moving forward with plans to implement the bad suggestions in the report -- such as increasing the fines for online copyright infringement by 10x. To be fair, this is focused just on "commercial-scale" copying where someone is profiting from the infringement. But, given how the recording industry works, how long until they look for ways to expand that definition or increase the fines for "personal copying" to keep them "more aligned" with the fines for commercial copying?

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  1. identicon
    Ima Fish, 15 Aug 2008 @ 5:46am

    I don't understand this at all. If someone breaks into my house and steals $100 from my wallet. Under the law I can't make him pay me $1,000 for the money he stole. I can only get back exactly what he stole.

    Yet if someone downloads a song from the internet, suddenly the music industry can recoup damages beyond what they suffered?

    Exactly which situation is worse? Exactly what situation do we want to stop?

    Of course someone will chime in saying that downloading is widespread and the music industry is losing millions of dollars. So what. Why should the person who was caught have to pay damages for all the people who are not caught.

    Let's assume that 10 different people, independently and completely unaware of each other, rob 10 different branches of the same bank. Should the one guy who got caught be forced to pay for all 10 robberies?! I don't see how that's fair or should be allowed under the law. But yet, that's exactly what the current music industry wants.

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