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Online piracy will no longer be a criminal offence in the UK

Online piracy will no longer be a criminal offence in the UK

The British government has now decided to decriminialise the piracy of films, music and games – meaning that users caught downloading and sharing pirated material will no longer be fined or prosecuted.

Starting in 2015, those caught pirating material online will receive four letters telling the individual that they have committed an illegal offence….and, well that’s it.

The reason for the change in policy is that the government have found the current punishment plans to be largely unworkable – and pretty sensibly so. Ofcom recently released figures stating that almost a quarter of all downloads in the UK were of something pirated – which would be a hell of a lot of people to prosecute.

While after next year individuals will no longer be fined or prosecuted, the government says it will still continue to try and shut down pirating sites, but overall – it seems like our government has given up the fight against punishing individuals for online piracy.

For more information on the policy check out the full bill here.

For the rest of us – its time to dig out that Jack Sparrow costume and get on the rum.


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