17 years for copyright infringement

The Federation Against Copyright Theft celebrated its success (Kieron Sharp) said :-

“Today’s sentencing is a great success for FACT as it marks the first time a release group has been criminally prosecuted. Rafiq, Baker, Reid, Cooper and Hemming were all aware that they were engaging in criminal activity. Their actions have now cost them their liberty….the result of this case sends out a serious message to anyone engaging in online piracy to think twice or face getting caught, prosecuted and sent to prison”.

Its a warning to everyone that uploads films and hopefully will be a warning to those who do it on an industrial scale but as first offenders one does question the severity of the sentences. Its quite hard to go to prison these days and there are endless cases of people actually causing real physical harm who never receive such heavy sentences.

So I do question the proportionality and surely a non custodial senstence would have served the wider public interest.

Will these sentences serve as a deterrent? Only time will tell.

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