The current maximum prison sentence is two years
The UK government are considering new plans that could lead to illegal music sharers facing a 10 year prison sentence.
Music Business Worldwide reports that the Conservatives are aiming to introduce a “significant deterrent” to prevent online piracy, proposing to increase the maximum prison sentence for copyright infringement from two years to 10 years.
The new plans aim to target offenders who “infringe copyright for large-scale financial gain”.
Intellectual Property Minister, Baroness Neville-Rolfe said of the news: “The government takes copyright crime extremely seriously – it hurts businesses, consumers and the wider economy both on and offline.”
“Our creative industries are worth more than £7 billion to the UK economy and it’s important to protect them from online criminal enterprises.”
“By toughening penalties for commercial-scale online offending we are offering greater protections to businesses and sending a clear message to deter criminals.”
Meanwhile, copying CDs and DVDs has been made illegal again after a new High Court ruling.
The High Court has overturned a law introduced by the Government in October 2014 which made it legal to transfer music into your home library, be it on an MP3, computer or other devices.
It means consumers cannot now technically copy a CD they own and use one version in the car and another at home.
The law brought in last October made it legal to make back-ups for personal use but it always remained an offence to share those copies with friends or family or to sell on that music or data.
But a judge has ruled that the government was wrong legally when it decided not to introduce a compensation scheme for songwriters, musicians and other rights holders who face losses as a result of their copyright being infringed.