Downloading on Internet Could Lead to Court Action
28 June 2012
A new system set up to tackle online piracy for people who download music, movies and e-books from the internet will see people being sent warning letters that could lead to court action on the grounds of copyright theft. This in effect will mean that people will be treated as guilty until proven innocent and a £20 fee will have to be paid to appeal the case. Further punishments include having the internet service slowed down, capped or even cut off.
The letters will be sent by the large internet service providers to those who entertainment firms believe are illegally downloading or uploading copyright material. If a consumer receives more than three letters in one year, the copyright holders will have the right to ask for details of what is being downloaded/uploaded and be able to apply to the Court to obtain the address of the consumer from the ISP. This information would then be used to sue the consumer through the courts for civil damages.
There are, however, concerns that hijacking the wireless connection could occur and innocent internet users could be caught up in the new system.
Strict controls which are due to come into effect in early 2014 have been outlined by Ofcom, the broadcaster regulator under the Digital Economy Act 2010. An Ofcom representative is reported to have stated “Ofcom will oversee a fair appeals process, and also ensure that rights holders’ investigations under the code are rigorous and transparent."
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