Internet pirates could face jail terms

Internet users who distribute movies and music ahead of their official release dates could face five years in prison under a bill being discussed in the US senate.

    The measure would also outlaw surreptitious videotaping of movies in theaters. 

    According to the sponsoring senators the bill targets practices that over the past several years have disrupted release schedules and cost movie makers an estimated $3 billion annually in lost sales.

    Unauthorized copies of movies often turn up in flea markets and online "peer to peer" networks such as Kazaa shortly after they are released, thanks to audience members who smuggle camcorders into theaters.

    In other cases, industry insiders post movies online before they are officially released.

    Both practices would become felonies under the bill, with maximum sentences of five years for first offenders as well as monetary damages.

    Copyright infringement is already illegal, but the bill would make such activity easier to prosecute by assuming that any copyrighted work posted online ahead of its release date has been downloaded at least 10 times, causing damages of at least $2,500.

    Lobbyists from the movie and recording industries applauded the bill.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    From Cameroon to US-Mexico border: 'We saw corpses along the way'

    'We saw corpses along the way'

    Kombo Yannick is one of the many African asylum seekers braving the longer Latin America route to the US.