Uploading digital content onto websites and sharing platforms without a copyright owner's consent, or more likely a license agreement, is likely to breach copyright laws. Copyright owners are entitled to license their works for sale and distribution on the internet, but piracy and the availability of illegal downloads causes disruption across the music industry and can have a devastating impact, not only on those at the high end of the music industry but also to artists trying to break through at entry level.
A British man will be sentenced in November after he entered a guilty plea at Liverpool Magistrates' Court in October 2016 relating to his systematic mass uploading of UK top chart hits over a period of time. The arrest of Wayne Evans', an unemployed man from Everton, was the culmination of a two pronged investigation by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit and the Performing Rights Society (PRS) for Music, an organisation which seeks to protect its members' rights and assist in enforcing the law against digital services which fail to honour existing licensing models and structures. Evans also admitted illegally distributing 'acapella' tracks, for use by DJs, via his own website. PRS for Music represents the rights of over 115,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the United Kingdom.
It will be interesting to await news of the sentencing of Mr Evans, which will take place on 11 November 2016 at Liverpool Magistrates' Court.
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