In an effort to deter online piracy the UK Government is proposing to increase the maximum prison sentence for online copyright infringement to ten years.
According to the Government itÂs important that online piracy is seen as Âno less seriousÂ than offline infringements, and the increased sentence will put both offenses on par.
ÂBy toughening penalties for commercial-scale online offending we are offering greater protections to businesses and sending a clear message to deter criminals,Â says Intellectual Property Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe.
The proposal is being welcomed by copyright holders who have lobbied extensively to increase penalties for online piracy.
The new legislation will be targeted at those involved in organized and commercial copyright infringement. This would include operators of large piracy sites, but not their users.
Before going forward with the proposal the Government is seeking input from the public.Â A consultationÂ launched today invites supporters and opponents of the plan to chime in, which is likely to trigger a heated debate.