Piracy Laws and Regulations

Piracy Laws:


  • Laws being proposed that would mean anyone found guilty of streaming copyrighted content without permission 10 or more times within 6 months would face up to 5 years in prison.
  • US government and copyright holders would have the right to ask for court orders against any site accused of enabling and facilitating piracy.
  • US based internet service providers (ISPs), payment processors and advertisers would be outlawed from doing business with alleged copyright infringers.
  • The bill would also outlaw sites containing information on how to access blocked sites


  • The Digital Economy Act 2010 was rushed through parliament at the end of a Labour Administration.
  • It has since changed a number of times but the main provision remains a letter-writing campaign targeting people identified as illegal downloaders.
  • The letters would offer advice on how to stop illegal activities- but would not make demands for money or threaten disconnection.
  • The letter campaign was originally decided to begin in 2013 but was recently moved to 2015.
  • The act has been challenged in court by ISPs including Talk Talk and BT, who argue it unfairly makes them police user’s behaviour.

Regulation Bodies and Acts

IFPI- International Federation of the Phonographic Industry

  • Represents recording industry worldwide.
  • Mission is to promote the value of recorded music, safeguard the rights of record producers and expand the commercial uses of recorded music in markets where it’s members operate.

Sopa- Stop Online Piracy Act

  • United States bill to expand the ability of US law enforcement to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods.

ACTA- Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

  • Worldwide agreement
  • 22 EU member states including UK signed the agreement in January 2012
  • Only Germany, The Netherlands, Cyprus, Estonia and Slovakia are states from the EU who did not sign up.
  • The US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea also part of ACTA
  • Proposes to improve the enforcement of intellectual property rights in participating countries
  • Protests against the agreement- most vocal taking place in Poland

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