Illegal downloaders to be given ‘slap on the wrist’ in new UK approach

If you’re one of the 22% of people who illegally download media on the internet, will this new approach change your mind?

The UK government, content creators, and Britain’s biggest internet service providers (ISPs) have made quite a u-turn when it comes to dealing with those who illegally download media online. Rather than dishing out punishments to people who are caught, letters will be sent advising them of legal alternatives.

From next year, those who are believed to be illegally downloading movies, music, games etc. will begin to receive warning letters – up to four a year. And what happens when you ignore those letter? Nothing. No sanctions will be imposed on those that ignore the warnings, but the letters are there to hopefully make people aware of legitimate sources for their media consumption, to then change their activities and use them.

Creative Content UK is what the campaign is being called, and it combines the UK government, Virgin Media, Sky, Motion Picture Association (MPA) and other ISPs in an effort to showcase and expose the wide range of media that’s available by legal means online.

In an update on The British Recorded Music Industry’s website it goes into more detail about the campaign.

When speaking of the campaign, UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable said;

“The creative industries in the UK are one of our brilliant global success stories. We have unrivalled creativity - from record breaking musicians to box office films - that excite and inspire people all over the world. Yet too often that content is open to abuse by some who don’t play by the rules. That is why we are working with industry to ensure that intellectual property rights are understood and respected. Education is at the heart of this drive so people understand that piracy isn’t a victimless crime - but actually causes business to fail, harms the industry and costs jobs.”

Can the consciences of the people who are illegally downloading media be swayed by mere suggestions of alternative paid services? Only time will tell. The government has pledged £3.5 million for the first part of the campaign which will see an ‘a multi-media education awareness campaign’ rolled out before Spring 2015, after which we’ll see the warning letters being sent. Thanks, VG24/7.


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