Sep 14, 2015

UK Citizen Jailed for Internet Piracy Scam

A man in the UK has been jailed for running an illegal website offering access to the latest films and TV shows. Paul Mahoney reportedly made £300,000 through advertising on his website, whilst putting the film industry at risk of losing £120m in revenue.

This sentence is a credit to the work of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact), which led the investigation against Mahoney alongside the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Fact is a membership organisation founded in 1983, and works with statutory law enforcement agencies to tackle piracy and protect the intellectual property interests of, for example, film distributors, TV broadcasters and sport rights owners.

Other such organisations in the UK include Anti Copying in Design (ACID) which is a membership trade organisation set up by designers for designers. ACID remit is to raise awareness and encourage respect for IP and it does this by helping its members to understand and protect their rights.  For more information on ACID see here.

The UK Government launched a consultation on 18 July 2015 on the maximum sentence for commercial online copyright infringement. The maximum sentence currently stands at 2 years but there are plans to increase it to 10 years, which is the maximum sentence for copyright infringement of physical goods.

The prosecution of Mr Mahoney is a reassuring outcome for right holders in terms of the protection of intellectual property rights, particularly copyright, in the digital age.

Posted by: in: Case Law, Copyright, Digital/Tech, News

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