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
    Ed, 15 Aug 2008 @ 6:50am

    I am in favor of making a simple distinction. Did the person profit from distributing (not receiving) the material?

    If the answer is yes, then the company/person in question is entitled to the full "profit" they would have made, from the equivalent number of sales, plus all expenses incurred.

    On the other hand, if the distributor made no profit, then a different law/section should apply.

    Receiving a copy of a copyrighted work illegally benefits you the cost of "one copy". Regardless of the number of copies reproduced later during free redistribution. That does not make it morally or legally right, but it is real. No emotional plea changes that. A fixed charge of a couple of hundred dollars per redistribution offense is not unreasonable (the burned hand teaches best) but no more.

    If that distinction is made "Within the Law", then I have no problem with it.

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