Britain Decriminalizes Video Game Piracy

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Britain Decriminalizes Video Game Piracy

piracy pirate 9x4

The British government has decriminalized online video game, music and movie piracy.

Software piracy is more often than not a service issue - wherein pirates provide a better (or, in some cases, the only) service than legitimate outlets. Furthermore, singling out random people who pirate and dumping massive fines on them isn't really helping the problem, as the British government has found out. Starting in 2015 in Britain, persistent file-sharers will be sent four warning letters explaining their actions are illegal, but if the notes are ignored no further action will be taken.

This new anti-piracy measure has been dubbed the "Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme" (VCAP) and is the result of years of talks between ISPs, British politicians and the movie and music industries. Geoff Taylor, chief executive of music trade body the BPI, said VCAP was about "persuading the persuadable, such as parents who do not know what is going on with their net connection."

He added: "VCAP is not about denying access to the internet. It's about changing attitudes and raising awareness so people can make the right choice." VCAP replaces some much harsher planned regulations, which included cutting the internet connections of persistent file-shares, and fines.

The British government will still strive to close and stem funding to file-sharing sites, but from the looks of things, the days of going after individual users with massive fines are over.

Source: VG24/7

Permalink

Can I have a HALLELUJAH?

Thank you.

Ah, but will they still extradite their citizens to foreign nations that do criminalise this?

Well, that's certainly an improvement, but may I ask one thing? Is this like going to an AA meeting for the internet?

Wait...what!? They actually did something reasonable? The same government that wants to filter the entire internet is doing something that isn't a terrible idea?

*checks date*

Hmm, not April.

I must have missed the recent election that booted Shiny Face out.

This will set an interesting precedent for european law.

I have family in the police force where I live (I'm danish) - and I've basically been told that the po-po here prefers to spend its time hunting down violent criminals and whatnot... not people who download shit.

I believe the phrase was "The only people who really want to see game/movie pirates prosecuted, are the media industry lawyers - not the public prosecutors"

But ok, so this british initiative involves... what? Pushing some "Please don't pirate stuff, you can stuff legally via online service X, Y and Z?" Sounds fair enough. Especially if the emphasis is on 'persuading the persuadable' - not making everyone obey.

Well its not illegal is it ? Its copyright infringement. Or at least it should be.

And from what i have seen on the news and the links nothing will change in regards to the law in the UK they are just not going for the draconian slow your internet down and then cut you off thing they where going to use.

As was stated in the article piracy is a matter of service and availability, if your stuff is not available for us to buy or we have to wait a year for it to come out on an overpriced dvd you should not be suppressed if people download it.

EDIT

IF the letters tell you about a legal services where you can watch the movie or whatnot then what do they do if that movie tv show or game is not available in the UK? I think what they need to do is work with media companies to make more stuff available in the uk, just look at US Netflix VS UK Netflix.

I don't download as much as i used to the only time i do is if the show is old and the original creators will see nothing from it or does not come out in the UK for ages, oh and if the company has a total monopoly on the product and you have to buy it for the stuff you already paid for to work (i am looking at you micro$haft). I know you can use Linux but not all games work in wine.

Piracy still isn't great but this is the most sensible thing. It's just not just to heap massive fines on one or two people when everyone is doing it. This isn't going to prevent piracy, but I doubt it will cause much of it either.

Errrm, the author needs to go back and fact check this. Piracy is still a crime here in the UK and if caught you will still be prosecuted. All that's changed is that now, instead of ISPs shutting off your internet (which was the initial request of anti-piracy groups) they'll send out letters. Some anti-piracy groups can and still will request that the physical contact details of repeat offenders, and will then still press for criminal and civil charges.

This is dangerous reporting as you're effectively telling younger readers who don't know any better that they can download this stuff without consequence, which is blatantly not what the program in question involves.

NO THEY DID NOT

http://torrentfreak.com/the-uk-did-not-just-decriminalize-file-sharing-140723/

Please check facts before re-reporting other people's badly researched news.

Did a quick search and didn't find much on this, found one from months back that said they were legalising CD ripping, but DRM was still illegal to get around. Is that the real story, or have they actually just made a snap decision to legalise it? Found another that seems to back this up (http://www.bpi.co.uk/home/uk-creative-industries-and-isps-partner-in-major-new-initiative-to-promote-legal-online-entertainment.aspx).

It all sounds very fishy due to the players, Tories, movie guys, sports guys, and so on all in bed to legalise piracy? What world is this? As Happy_Turtle and thaluikhain said there is more to it.

Steven Bogos:
Britain Decriminalizes Video Game Piracy

The British government has decriminalized online video game, music and movie piracy.

Software piracy is more often than not a service issue - wherein pirates provide a better (or, in some cases, the only) service than legitimate outlets. Furthermore, singling out random people who pirate and dumping massive fines on them isn't really helping the problem, as the British government has found out. Starting in 2015 in Britain, persistent file-sharers will be sent four warning letters explaining their actions are illegal, but if the notes are ignored no further action will be taken.

This new anti-piracy measure has been dubbed the "Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme" (VCAP) and is the result of years of talks between ISPs, British politicians and the movie and music industries. Geoff Taylor, chief executive of music trade body the BPI, said VCAP was about "persuading the persuadable, such as parents who do not know what is going on with their net connection."

He added: "VCAP is not about denying access to the internet. It's about changing attitudes and raising awareness so people can make the right choice." VCAP replaces some much harsher planned regulations, which included cutting the internet connections of persistent file-shares, and fines.

The British government will still strive to close and stem funding to file-sharing sites, but from the looks of things, the days of going after individual users with massive fines are over.

Source: VG24/7

Permalink

No more action will be taken by the government&ISP after the 4 letters, IP holders can still drag you into court and sue you for a very large made up number.

Stop getting your headlines from places that get their headlines from NeoGaf. Neogaf was wrong (as normal but god forbid you point that out on that site because there goes the account you waited a month for) and i think you are too, its not been decriminalized.

This is mainly because downloading and copyright infringement is a civil charge and not a criminal one to begin with. Piracy as in making and SELLING the goods was a criminal offense as far as i can remember but downloading was copyright infringement and so a civil matter (well unless you were doing it 24/7 but you get the idea)

Nothing has changed, all they are doing is educating rather than sending threatening letters.

And I'm going to be honest, thanks to sites getting the wrong end of the stick (Thanks Neogaf), I suspect we will see in am months time further changes to bring out the stick more than carrot because "the world believes we decriminalized this", from either the government or the rights holders. But probably the rights holders mostly.

FFMaster:
This is mainly because downloading and copyright infringement is a civil charge and not a criminal one to begin with.

Actually, the moment you share an item (which with bittorrent you're doing by default when you download) you fall foul of the old bootlegging laws. You don't have to receive any payment in order for this to be a crime.

Would it be cynical of me to think that the media conglomerates are happy that misleading news is being spread? I can just imagine some lawyer somewhere wringing his hands in anticipation of all the lawsuits he'll be able to file because of this bit of misdirection.

I'm British. I watch the news every day, and yet this is the first I'm hearing of this news...

What the fuck caused this sudden change of heart?!

Decriminalized is the wrong word, as copyright infringement for personal use wasn't a criminal offense anyway. This article makes it sound like the government are taking a "step back" from some stronger policy, when in reality they aren't.

To non-legal types this may sound a minor difference, but it does show a total lack of ability to research topics before publishing.

thaluikhain:
Ah, but will they still extradite their citizens to foreign nations that do criminalise this?

Legally they can't. It's a matter of private international law and more accurately conflict of laws. When it comes to cases like this, you can't extradite your citizens to be tried for something that isn't recognized as a crime in your own country. It won't stop the US from trying. They are notorious for not giving a crap about the legal system of other countries.

did not expect this...
yay!

thaluikhain:
Ah, but will they still extradite their citizens to foreign nations that do criminalise this?

No, because in 2012 foreign secretary specifically vetod the extradition of a man to America on hacking charges. Whilst that specific call was made on health grounds she unwittingly made it all but impossible to extradite someone from the UK on charges related to hacking, piracy etc, much to America's irritation.

Good step, but... how will this actually work on an international level? A lot of content that's pirated in the UK is bound to be from other places like the USA, other parts of Europe, Japan...

Skeleon:
Good step, but... how will this actually work on an international level? A lot of content that's pirated in the UK is bound to be from other places like the USA, other parts of Europe, Japan...

That's the big ol' elephant in the room, if they don't hold the rights to UK distribution and no one holds the rights to UK distribution, then there would be financial loss from it? Theoretically... nope, but that won't stop IP holders from claiming losses and damages in regards to it.

Very bad reporting on this topic, VCAP is no more then an option for your ISP to inform you when they have recorded piracy on your end. But this will only be done with ISPs who sign up and this does not change the actual laws at all, they can still do the exact same things as before (arrests, raids, ISP termination, lawsuits, extortion, extradition, jail time,... all that and more just waiting for you).

Almost got drawn in by how good this all sounded but this article is mere fiction. You need to double check before putting such things up.

cde:
NO THEY DID NOT

http://torrentfreak.com/the-uk-did-not-just-decriminalize-file-sharing-140723/

Please check facts before re-reporting other people's badly researched news.

Heh. That sounds more like it. Was too good to be true.

It's a trap. You move to GB to be a pirate and they'll catch you for something else, don't believe it...

Great Britain, solving problems with polite yet strongly worded letters since 1707.

I share the reaction of Critical Miss. All this is, is a significant watering-down of unreasonable proposals; not any retraction of the status quo... but this is a rare (and pleasantly-surprising) example of restraint.

Hopefully, bad reporting doesn't result in them thinking they made a mistake.

ITS A TRAP ! Does not sound any diff from what they were talking about before. Just sounds......too good to be true and England is run by greedy assholes

cde:
NO THEY DID NOT

http://torrentfreak.com/the-uk-did-not-just-decriminalize-file-sharing-140723/

Please check facts before re-reporting other people's badly researched news.

We need some form of Escapist gold or something.

Thanks for the update.

FFMaster:
Stop getting your headlines from places that get their headlines from NeoGaf. Neogaf was wrong (as normal but god forbid you point that out on that site because there goes the account you waited a month for) and i think you are too, its not been decriminalized.

Never really saw the point in a forum as closed and restrictive as Neogaf nor have I ever seen anything come out of their little fiefdom that seemed particularly useful.

I also, back on topic, am increasingly convinced that a high percentage of piracy is a service issue and not a "I'm going to steal all of 'The Mans' music, movies and videogames and on one can stop me bwahahahaha" issue. See also: New Zealands 3rd largest ISP includes with its service, as best as I can figure, VPN functionality so that its customers aren't getting fucked by region locking of online content.

Finally someone in a government shows a little brains

ThingWhatSqueaks:

Never really saw the point in a forum as closed and restrictive as Neogaf nor have I ever seen anything come out of their little fiefdom that seemed particularly useful.

I can half see the point of the restrictions, limits trolls, but at the same time it causes an echo chamber as the only people that "survive" essentially parrot the company line, as arguing against it will risk a ban. They are quick to say there is no hive mind, but the very system on which the forum operates causes a hive mind like mentality to appear (clique groups kinda have this effect, research has been done on it before).

Which is why i guess they like to say there isn't one cause if you point this out, your going against the line and CHOP FOR YOU :P

Anyway back to topic, we gonna have a update on the story, maybe contact a UK lawyer to see if it really is decriminalized cause currently multiple people have pointed out in this thread that they are dubious?

Steven Bogos:
Starting in 2015 in Britain, persistent file-sharers will be sent four warning letters explaining their actions are illegal, but if the notes are ignored no further action will be taken.

... ... ... So the point of these notes is...?

When I read the new I was like: "That can't be true..."
And:

cde:
NO THEY DID NOT

http://torrentfreak.com/the-uk-did-not-just-decriminalize-file-sharing-140723/

Please check facts before re-reporting other people's badly researched news.

Thanks, it is not true.
After all this would have meant that reason would have won over corporate interests and would put quite a few lawyers on the streets... so it's impossible in a capitalistic democracy...

happy_turtle:
Errrm, the author needs to go back and fact check this. Piracy is still a crime here in the UK and if caught you will still be prosecuted.

Ermmm,

Steven Bogos:
Starting in 2015

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