back to article UK fines for IP infringement to rocket

The British government plans a tenfold increase in the penalties for criminal breaches of intellectual property law. Infringement of IP laws will be punishable by fines of up to £50,000 rather than the current £5,000, according to Government plans. The measures, though, do not involve increasing the possible jail sentences for …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "consultation warned against their indiscriminate use"

    People are stupid if they believe for a moment the bodies involved wont go all out for the max every single time.

    But then look at our government and media and we can already see how stupid the people are in general.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I always love this line...

    "The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has consulted with the public and industry on possible changes to sentencing and has received support for the increase in the penalties for copyright and other IP law infringement."

    Ah yes, the magical consultation with "the public".

    That's funny, because I'm a member of the public and they didn't consult me.

    Picking a few random people on the street, or opening up a site where you can send comments in without telling anyone it exists does not count as public consultation because the public consists of more than just a couple of random people with no clue or interest about the subject at hand.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What they should to is to replace these immoral copyright laws with something that is fair. Not be enforcing them with more vigour and higher penalties.

    "Oh I put a couple of hours work in a few years back, you lot have to keep on paying me for that again and again and again; or not benefit from it any more, because as a creator I'm more important than you scum. You just get paid once for one job, but for us wonderful people there is no end."

    And the industry grabbing repeat fees on the backs of the folk who actually create, is even worse. Disks handed out with newspapers at no additional cost shows how little the background production/distribution costs must be.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sad but true?

    A new UK Treasury funding stream has been identified?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who gets the fine money?

    I am betting it is another scam, like Ofcom. And really how does having to pay to imprison people help the economy again?

    White collar crime, just employ and control so you can get the damages money, it is mindless crime that you punish via imprisonment, copying and selling well stick on a living wage and get them to pay off the damage, they can be your low paid salesmen.

    No fine to the government, what have they done to deserve a cut, if anything the education system is a negative to most creation.

    And work for hire get rid of that, author always holds copyright no copyright transfer possible at all, authorship and ownership is inextricable.

  6. Oliver

    I don't believe it!

    This is nonsense. Who were the industry pundits? Sounds to me like they asked a bunch of interested parties. What kind of way is this to legislate anyway?

    Just this week I saw a poor fast-food outlet in Scotland being threatened with legal proceedings by KFC because they had the audacity to offer a "family feast" deal as part of their menu. For this kind of operation there's a big difference between risking £5000 to stick up for their rights (and common sense) and facing a £50,000 law suit.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Acronym reuse

    Which came first? IP (Internet Protocol) or IP (Intellectual Property)?

    Think we need an IP lawyer to sort this out... (But which one?!)

  8. Irate BT User

    What about ISPs

    who infringe my Copyright & alter it?

    When I put in a URL to go to msn dot com I expect to go to "msn dot com" not have my data "changed to go to "a dot webwise dot com"!

    "THE URL request is at that point my Copyright data & it is altered!"

    Sorry just told an MEP off for trying to tell me I was wrong without looking at the "relevant clauses" & then sending me Party Political Policy Blurb!

    Enough said Rant over (don't often get this angry!)

  9. Andrew
    Thumb Down

    aw c'mon

    "Someone engaged in the piracy of physical goods for commercial gain can face 10 years in jail. "

    Piracy of physical goods? That's what those Somalian chaps do. Whatever crime this copying may or may not be, it isn't piracy.

    It's time we had a root-and-branch reform of IP law - balancing the rights of the customers with those of the "creators" and their agents. Right now the balance is all wrong, looks set to get worse, and doesn't even get discussed properly thanks to words like "piracy".

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Survey more than slightly weighted...

    Poor presentation, unclear statistics, the views of restrictive copyright enthusiasts and defence left to one single named individual!

    Not exactly a textbook survey sample - naive and clumsy!

    1/10 - Must try harder.

  11. kevin biswas

    "public opinion" = "govt funded quango"

    There has been a lot of this around lately, but it is all smoke and mirrors. The so-called 'public' that are supposedly consulted over harsh penalties for IP infringement are the same 'public' who are pushing for minimum costs per unit of drink, banning what little tobacco advertising remains, lowering speed limits, lowering drink drive limits, spying on everyone, raising supposedly 'green' taxes etc etc. No-one ever asked me or anyone I know about any of this shit.

    In almost all cases these vocal and influential bodies who are allegedly speaking for 'the public' are actually govt funded quangos pushing policies to increase their own departmental budgets or businesses pursuing their own commercial gains. 100% vested interests of one kind or another. Just USSR style propaganda, all of it claptrap and eyewash.

  12. blue

    Same Old Story (shouldn't it be in the public domain by now?)


    >Sounds to me like they asked a bunch of interested parties. What kind of way is this to legislate anyway?

    The way it has always been done with regard to copyright (and so much more). Copyright law is a protection racket for the copyrighted media producing industry. Big business = lots of cash = lots of power & influence = laws specifically crafted for them.

    Government is for these people; to protect them from the likes of you and I.

  13. alain williams Silver badge

    @I always love this line...

    ''That's funny, because I'm a member of the public and they didn't consult me.''

    They may have consulted some of the public (good -- so they can tick that due diligence box), and then ignored them.

  14. RW

    Where is justice?

    Justice would relate the penalty for IP piracy to the actual, quantifiable financial damage to the owner. In turn this depends on the value (n.b. value, not price) of the pirated IP.

    Aside: it is a fundamental of economics that the value of anything is what someone is willing to pay for it, not what its owner thinks is a fair price.

    Since most people doing downloads wouldn't (couldn't!) pay a plugged nickel for the digital dreck, when you average them in with those who actually paid, you'll get a very low average number for "what someone is willing to pay". The proposed penalties merely demonstrate how closely tied Labour is to business and corporate nonsense. They are truly draconian penalties.

    Someone needs to send the inner cabal of NuLabour a recording of G&S's Mikado with the famous line "make the punishment fit the crime."

  15. Mike Gravgaard
    Thumb Down


    I find this goverment not just to be a nanny state but to be corrupt but actually worse that the Tories in the early nineties.

    I cannot wait till the next election becuase Labour will feel everyone's wrath; the problem is however that we will have a strong Tory goverment with large majority (i.e. they can do what the hell they like with little objection from other parties).

    I think we should reform government - we should make lobbying public (i.e we should be able to see what lobbying it done and see the interviews from special interest groups to goverment commitees and the current and shadow goverment). We should have a system where we have true democracy where we can vote out the goverment without waiting for them to call the next election.



  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Unlawful copyright infringement is a civil matter.

    So which criminal offence are we actually talking about here?

  17. David

    Another back-door revenue scheme

    I'm sure this will help the conviction figures no end. Doubtess all the IP infringers will change tack and take to mugging old ladies and house-breaking, as it looks like the deterrents are obviously going to be less. Also saves the police from the arduous task of taking the trouble to solve "real" crimes. Do I hear the sounds of cash registers and much rubbing of hands together?

  18. bill oxley
    Paris Hilton


    who owned and what kind of rocket was infringed. Who did the infringing ?

  19. Anonymous Coward

    As long as it was a balanced review

    "Responses were largely from industry bodies representing copyright holders"

    So that's alright then.

  20. Keyzer Suze

    why not put it to the vote

    Sure the public would vote it down!

    Industry is going to come to a stand still because of IP wars.

    Thank good for China were they don't care :)

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @criminal @Vote

    some IP infringement is criminal, mainly those related to doing it on a commercial scale and making money out of it, rather than just downloading stuff you don't want to pay for, which is a civil matter.

    Not sure that a referendum, if held, would actually go against this. A lot of people, especially those who don't download stuff, would likely vote for tough IP protection.

    Although many people would vote for tough laws simply because many more people see music piracy as theft than see it as liberating music from its evil oppressor you also have to face that many people in this country vote the way their daily paper tells them too. And papers are owned by corporations that will want to retain control over their IP.

    I love this one:

    ""Oh I put a couple of hours work in a few years back, you lot have to keep on paying me for that again and again and again; or not benefit from it any more, because as a creator I'm more important than you scum. You just get paid once for one job, but for us wonderful people there is no end.""

    That is how it works. If you object to paying for something then the grown-up way to deal with it is to lobby MPs, maybe stand yourself and not buy the product. Not take it for nothing.

    Some advice to those who have a real problem with IP laws: Stop buying stuff (hit their profits) and stop downloading stuff illegally. Currently record companies etc. blame falling profits on piracy, and the download figures kind of back that up, at least to a degree. Take away the piracy and there will *have* to be a change in the way things are done.

  22. g e

    @ -- @criminal @Vote

    rather than just downloading stuff you don't want to pay for


    More like stuff you probably WOULDN'T pay for after experiencing it... someone should remind the MAFIAA that a download is NOT lost revenue..

    If there's 60M people in the UK and a tune has sold 100k copies then there's a 1/600th product penetration per capita. If a 'body' requests 600k damages slap em down to 1k and refuse costs. It'll soon not bve worth their while; oh that does rely on Common Sense being a consideration in the law mind you.

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