Imprisonment for online copyright infringement

Offences of online copyright infringement are currently punishable by a maximum of two years’ imprisonment, whereas the maximum custodial sentence for infringement in respect of physical goods is ten years.

In July 2015 the government opened a consultation asking whether the maximum custodial sentence available for online and offline copyright infringement of equal seriousness should be brought into line at ten years?

The government has just published the responses to the consultation. It received 1,032 responses, with an overwhelming 1,011 opposing the proposal and only 21 supporting. The government states that it is now carefully considering the best way forward.

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