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article imageUp to 10 years in jail if you download copyright music in the UK

By Anne Sewell     Mar 3, 2012 in Internet
With ACTA not yet completely ratified, it seems the UK is taking matters into its own hands, with SOCA "tackling the crimes"
In February this year, Britain's organized crime police shut down, a prominent music file-sharing website receiving up to 70,000 visitors per day and with approximately 250,000 subscribers on Facebook alone.
RT reports that this is the first serious move taken against Internet users in the UK since the British government introduced regulations in 2009 enabling ISP's (internet service providers) to track users who have downloaded illegal content from the web, and to disable their connection if warnings had no effect.
Recently, the British Government signed the ACTA bill, which is up for final ratification in June of this year, and this is now having a far more serious effect on internet freedom.
UK internet surfers now face a looming threat of up to 10 years in jail for "illegal downloading", after the was shut down. This kind of sentence is normally reserved for far more serious crimes.
The Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) in Britain normally tackles crimes “that affect the UK and its citizens.” Now simply downloading illegal content from a file-sharing website has been put on a par with “Class A drugs, people smuggling and human trafficking, major gun crime, fraud and money laundering.”
With an average price of £60 for the music that has been illegally downloaded, this type of sentence seems extreme.
There have been many protests in Europe and other parts of the world against the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), and some countries are refusing to sign it. However, this does not stop countries taking matters into their own hands, it seems.
In fact, you could say that the British police have taken on a new role - that of personal enforcer to the recording industry and protecting corporate profits.
If you have personally downloaded content from or even visited the website, be aware that you could get a visit from SOCA, and 10 years behind bars for your "crime".
More about Internet, Download, Censorship, Copyright, Jail
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