Should online pirates get the same sentences as offline ones?

New research commissioned by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has asked whether a decade behind bars would deter online pirates.

Physical copyright offences carry a maximum 10-year penalty, but online infringers can only be sentenced for up to two years. The report, carried out by Martin Brassell and Ian Goodyer for the IPO, says that this means online copyright infringement “does not fall into the category of serious arrestable offences”. But responses from rights holders were mixed.


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