What does legislation entail?
Legislation involves the passing and use of criminal law (as compared to civil lawsuits) to charge people who have (i) played a part in distributing pirated goods, (ii) played a part in making technology that promotes the infringement of copyright, or (iii) infringed some party’s copyright. Legislation would make people reconsider distributing pirated products, and thus reducing the rate at which piracy occurs. Frequently, laws are not targeted at consumers of pirated products; they are often concerned with curbing the distribution of such pirated products instead.
FBI warning before movie, part of a campaign against piracy.
To protect copyright holders, there are often strict anti-piracy laws in most Western countries. In countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, for example, movie pirates, if caught, could face up to ten years’ imprisonment.Back to top
The ongoing process
Legislation is not something that is done once and then laid to rest; the writing and passing of laws continue to take place in certain nations. To illustrate, in 2004, the European Union passed a directive to allow local police suspecting pirate activity to raid homes and offices. In the same year, Italy passed laws imposing large fines for serious copyright infringements and fines of up to US$1250 for downloading copyrighted works in violation of copyright laws, for personal use. The Associated Press called this one of the toughest laws against copyright infringement on the Internet.Back to top
Some governments, however, have been unsupportive
Not every country in the world enforce penalties to discourage the distribution of pirated products. The lack of efficacious and coordinated effort from the government in countries like Indonesia and China, for example, allows rampant piracy to take place.