The Internet is a very efficient and useful tool; it makes our lives more convenient. But many people use the computers improperly. They will download things like songs, games, movies etc. from the Internet illegally. A survey was done by the Intellectual Property Department, Hong Kong in 2008 has shown that more than 80% of the respondents downloaded files and uploaded them to internet for sharing purposes.(85.1%) These acts were all infringed IP rights.Most of them will download things from software like Foxy and Flashget or webpage which you can download things for free. Although these programs are easy and fast for downloading, but it will bring a lot of virus to your computer and other people who use are also using these illegal programs can easily stole your personal information through these illegal downloading programs.Different laws and regulations are set in different countries for illegal downloading. For Hong Kong, the laws for illegal downloading is in ordinance, chapter 528, section 22 ----The acts restricted by copyright. In that part 1(a), it says that illegal downloading is to copy the work. In chapter 528, section 23, law number 2: Coping of a work means reproducing the work in any material from. This includes storing the work in any medium by electronic means. In chapter 528, section 23, law number 4: Coping in relation to a film, television broadcast or cable program includes making a photograph of the whole or any substantial part of any image forming part of the film, broadcast or cable program. In chapter 528, section 23, law number 6: Coping in relation to any description of work includes the making of copies which are transient or are incidental to some other use of the work. The punishment for these laws depends on the demand from the owner, it can be the usual license fee plus legal costs required to take action. As for Australia, many materials on the Internet are protected by copyright, as by emails. In Australia, copyright law is set out in the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). In many cases have made decisions on how the Act is to be interpreted and applied in various situations. The types of material which can be protected by copyright in Australia include:
If you download any of the things that was protected by copyright, you will infringed the laws in Australia. In USA, there are many internet companies will offer users free download of soundtracks of their favorite songs for free. However, courts in USA have made it clear that users of these services, who upload and download copyrighted works for free exchange, are infringing copyright laws. In USA, there is a association called “Recording Industry Association of America.” It crack down on all parties involved in copyright infringement, including internet site operators, internet service providers etc. For Canada, downloading things from peer-to-peer networks is legal, but uploading those things will be illegal. Many countries have taken action to prevent illegal downloading to occur. In Hong Kong, numerous of activities and campaigns were held. The Internet piracy, the Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau (CITB), the Intellectual Property Department (IPD) and the Customs and Exercise Department (C&ED) launched the Anti-Internet Piracy Campaign in 2007 to promote the respect for intellectual property right in the digital environment. As for UK, the government has proposed three strikes and you’re out law to combat illegal downloads. Under the proposal, the UK internet users will be watched by their ISP’s for illegal downloads, and those caught will receive an e-mail warning in the first instance, internet suspension on the second time, and then termination of their contact on the third strike.