The newly published Digital Economy Bill is broad in scope but has the ability to upset copyright infringers in a number of ways.
In the UK, all sex acts are entirely legal between consenting adults. However, if the bill passes, websites that fail to stop UK web users from viewing content that portray sex acts will be blocked.
The Copyrights, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA) affects web users who share copyrighted content online. In previous reports, the main aim of the government is to harmonize penalties between offline and online infringements, chiefly by increasing the maximum penalty from 2 years in prison to 10 years.
In Section 107 (Criminal liability for making or dealing with infringing articles, &c.), things still stand and reads as follows:
(2A)A person who infringes copyright in a work by communicating the work to the public—
(a)in the course of a business, or
(b)otherwise than in the course of a business to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright, commits an offence if he knows or has reason to believe that, by doing so, he is infringing copyright in that work.
About the Digital Economy Bill
– has not become law yet
– could still be amended
– infringers could face up to 10 years in prison
One interesting detail is that the bill does not exclude casual file-sharers or those who share a single movie, song and the likes. Basically, the latest draft amendment focuses on the person infringing content while gaining profit for himself, for someone else, or exposing the copyright owner to potential risk of loss. Both ‘gain’ and ‘loss’ extend only in money, whether it’s permanent or temporary and if the copyright owner does not get what one might get.