Ten years for downloading music?

Internet users are being threatened with imprisonment:

UK web surfers have caught a grim glimpse of the future with Internet users being threatened with 10 years in jail for “illegal downloading” after a prominent music file-sharing site was shut down shortly after Britain signed the notorious ACTA bill.

It is the first time such a move has been made against Internet users in the UK. The British government introduced regulations in 2009 enabling Internet providers to track users who downloaded illegal content from the web and disable their connection

[This is a reference to the Digital Economy Act passed by the Labour government just before the general election in 2009]

if warning letters had no effect. But signing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has brought the conflict to a whole new level.

The doctor who killed Michael Jackson got 4 years in prison. If you download one of his songs, you could go to prison for 2 and a half times that. Where’s the justice in that? Furthermore, under the Digital Economy Act, you could have your internet connection cut off without you getting a fair trial (or indeed any trial at all), and everyone in your household would also be cut off which is collective punishment (defined as a war crime in the Geneva Convention).

If you think downloading a Michael Jackson song isn’t as bad as killing Michael Jackson, you can’t vote Labour (they introduced the Digital Economy Act), you can’t vote SNP (they voted for the DEA), you can’t vote for the Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition(they support the DEA and the ACTA treaty).

Instead, you should vote for the Pirate Party. We stand for:

  • no punishment without being found guilty in a court of law after a fair trial
  • no collective punishment
  • keeping the internet free
This entry was posted in Britain, digital rights, Edinburgh, Pirate Party, politics. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ten years for downloading music?

  1. Byte says:

    Isn’t the PP about copyright reform, drastic term reduction and legalizing non-for-profit, private p2p file-sharing? If not, why does the PP UK take a different view from other PPs? If so, why not advertise this?

    Your first point is moot. Your second deals with strike laws; OK not strikes but go directly to jail, being found guilty in a court of law, after a fair trial, but the part you are missing: not based on fair and just laws but those dictated by the Copyright Industry. But still in a court. And your trial will still be fair.

    Keeping the Internet free is a good cause, but not very specific.

    • Phil Hunt says:

      Isn’t the PP about copyright reform, drastic term reduction and legalizing non-for-profit, private p2p file-sharing?

      Those are some — but not all — of the things we’re about. But why do we want these things? I think it’s because were a civil liberty party for the internet age. The internet has made copying easy, and to counteract that, the copyright indistry has successfully lobbied for draconian new laws punishing it. This has unbalanced copyright, and so we need to reform copyright law, to put the balance back. So speaking for myself — and I’m sure many Pirates agree with me — one of the main reasons I want to rebalance copyright law is because I care about civil liberties. Things like getting a fair trial, and not being collectively punished.

      The internet’s job is to copy data, quickly, easily and cheaply, all around the world. This makes enforcement of copyright extremely problematic, or to be honest, impossible. So in the long term, we can either have an enforceable copyright regime or we can have an internet. I choose the latter, which is why for pragmatic reasons non-commercial copying must be made legal (there are also moral and economic reasons, which I omit for brevity).

      Your second deals with strike laws; OK not strikes but go directly to jail, being found guilty in a court of law, after a fair trial, but the part you are missing: not based on fair and just laws but those dictated by the Copyright Industry. But still in a court. And your trial will still be fair.

      No. Under the DEA, people disconnected from the internet will not get a trial (fair or otherwise). This is because the copyright industry don’t want to have to go to the trouble of proving allegations they make.

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