Pirates may be jailed in Blighty

UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan to turn the UK back to the time when he and his toffy chums ruled is gathering pace.

Now it seems that his advisors are not happy with forcing UK ISPs to send their customers warning letters when they pirate movies, music and TV shows.

The Prime Minister’s IP advisor, Mike Weatherley says it is time to realise that the scheme might fail and it is time to do something more enforceable, including disconnections, fines, jail sentences and transportation to the colonies. We made the last one up.

The Digital Economy Act 2010 has been running for four years on and is widely seen as pointless.

The idea behind the law was to educate the casual file-sharer about legal alternatives in the hope he or she would change her or his ways.

However it did not work because serious file sharers could ignore the rules by going through foreign proxy sites which were untraceable.Casual users were receiving four warnings and then nothing was happening.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s IP advisor believes that the carrot needs to be backed up by a stick. In a report published yesterday largely detailing the “Follow the Money” approach to dealing with pirate sites, Mike Weatherley the government needed to start thinking now what to do if these notices are ignored by infringers.

Weatherley says that while the IP enforcement “stick” is a “last resort option”, being able to show “teeth” is important.

“Warnings and fines are obvious first steps, with internet access blocking and custodial sentencing for persistent and damaging infringers not to be ruled out in my opinion,” he wrote.

He is not saying that jail will be immediately on the cards for pirates. Weatherley says that education has to come first, with an emphasis placed on informing consumers that “piracy and similar illegal activities are not in their best long-term interests and are not socially acceptable”. The second phase will see the onus placed on industry “to get their product right and attractive” to consumers.

However once the government had won the ‘hearts and minds’ of consumers and provided suitable content, keeps the option of enforcement of copyright law on the table when all else has been exhausted.

Prime Minister David Cameron says he will “closely consider” Weatherley’s report. Our deep throat tells us that he is currently looking at a bill which will force young unemployed youths to clean chimneys.