Britain’s Anti-Piracy Acts Encourages No Penalties for Illegal Downloading
The British government is on its way of decriminalizing online theft of video games, music, and movies after deeming suggested punishments as impracticable.
Starting in 2015, persistent online thieves will receive warning letters from their Internet service providers, explaining that their actions are illegal and will also suggest alternate yet legitimate means to their entertainment.
However, the government or ISP will not take any further action in case the user opts for ignoring the message. Each year, any user will not receive more than a total of four warning letters/e-mails.
This stance which is referred to as Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme is a result of long-going talks between the British government, major Internet service providers, and entertainment industry (including the BPI and Motion Picture Association).
As for ISPs, BT, TalkTalk, Virgin, and Sky have signed up the VCAP agreement with smaller ISPs to follow their lead. Furthermore, the project is supported by £3.5 million and is backed by all aforementioned organizations.
While speaking of the VCAP and its somewhat different approach, Chief Executive of the BPI Geoff Taylor stated that the whole thing is about persuading the persuadable and changing the general public’s views on online thievery and teaching them the difference between right and wrong:
[VCAP is about] persuading the persuadable, such as parents who do not know what is going on with their net connection. VCAP is not about denying access to the internet. It’s about changing attitudes and raising awareness so people can make the right choice.
Do you believe there are any chances of this new campaign to work in a country where a quarter of all downloads are pirated? Let us hear your opinion!