What Legislation is
Legislation involves the enactment and use of criminal law (as opposed to civil lawsuits) to charge people (i) involved in distributing pirated goods, (ii) involved in making technology that promotes copyright? infringement, or (iii) engaging in digital copyright infringement. Legislation would discourage people from distributing pirated goods, thereby bringing the rate of piracy? down. Legislation is rarely used against individuals who use pirated goods; instead, laws are targeted at those who distribute the goods.
In most Western countries, anti-piracy legislation tends to be strict to protect the interests of copyright holders. For example, in countries such as the UK and the US, the highest penalty for movie pirates is ten years’ imprisonment.
FBI warning before movie, part of a campaign against piracy.
An Ongoing Process
Drafting and enactment of new legislation also continues in certain countries. A European Union directive was passed in 2004 allowing local police to raid homes and offices when they suspect pirate activity. That year, Italy passed what was dubbed by the Associated Press as one of the toughest laws against Internet copyright infringement, including hefty fines for serious infringements, as well as fines of up to US$1250 for downloading copyrighted works for personal use.Back to top
Lack of Governmental Support
Stiff penalties discourage people from distributing pirated goods, but not all countries enforce such penalties. In countries like China and Indonesia, effective and coordinated governmental effort is lacking, which renders piracy uncontrolled.