Just to be clear – The UK did *NOT* just decriminalise file sharing.
To suggest otherwise only puts people at unnecessary risk. File sharing remains ILLEGAL in the UK, guaranteed.
Following years of negotiations between UK ISPs and agents for the music and movie industries to develop ways to increase consumer awareness about digital piracy, the Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (VCAP) is set to roll-out next year.
Plan to target UK file sharing
Under the plan, consumers who are caught file sharing and infringing copyrights online could receive four warnings about the illegal activity, similar to the six strikes system used in the United States and the three strikes method used in Italy and France, reports AVN.com
According to the BBC, “The warnings are part of a larger scheme that aims to educate people about copyright and legal ways to enjoy digital content. Starting next year, up to four warnings annually will be sent to households suspected of copyright infringement.
“But if people ignore the warnings,” it added, “no further action will be taken.”
It is that last claim, that no further action will be taken, repeated by several other media outlets, that caused many to criticize the scheme as “toothless.”
But TorrentFreak’s Andy, in an impassioned article posted today, argues that media reports that claim that file sharing has been “decriminalized” are not only mistaken, but are also dangerously misleading because, he argues, “to suggest otherwise only puts people at unnecessary risk. File sharing remains ILLEGAL in the UK, guaranteed.”
He adds, “As detailed in our previous article, VCAP is a voluntary (that’s the ‘V’ part) agreement between some rightsholders and a few ISPs to send some informational letters to people observed infringing copyright. This means that the mainstream music labels and the major Hollywood studios will soon have an extra option to reach out to UK file sharing Internet users.
“However,” he continues, “whenever they want to—today, tomorrow or next year—any of the copyright holders involved in VCAP can still file a lawsuit or seek police action against ANYONE engaged in illegal file-sharing—FACT.”
Ben Dover and file sharing
TorrentFreak reports that last month the UK High Court gave UK pornographer Lyndsay Honey (aka Ben Dover) and his company Golden Eye International a provisional green light to obtain the identities of thousands of alleged file sharing from ISP o2.
In an interview with Vice.com, Honey explains that due to “everything on the internet being free”, his income dropped by 90% in 2 years. This development didn’t go unnoticed by Revenue and Customs who apparently thought something underhand might be going on in Honey’s tax affairs. While noting that he assured them that wasn’t the case, Honey is clear about his motives for entering the ‘speculative invoicing’ market.
But while talking straight has its benefits, sometimes little nuggets of information leak out. From his own mouth it seems Honey isn’t that desperate for cash. After separating from his wife (their house went on the market for £2.5m), Honey now lives in a “beautiful apartment block” and goes on to admit that things are pretty good.
Ben Dover and money
“I still have a very nice lifestyle,” he told Vice. “When I say I’m skint, people say, ‘No, you’re not skint mate, it’s just now you’ve only got three cars instead of five.’”
And even while claiming porn is “a sinking ship”, Honey admits that he’s still shooting movies (which of course someone must be able to sell) and to this day remains the highest earning porn star in the country, despite file sharing.
“I still do like, two or three shoots a week in porn for other people, so I literally just turn up, fuck someone and come home and it pays good money,” said Honey.