MATTHEW ALLEN N5
Copyright Patents Act
What is it?
The copyright patents act of 1988 states that it is illegal to copy software without the permission of the person/company that owns the copyright of the software. The copyright holder is usually the author of the software.
Illegal copying of software reduces the income to software companies. Having invested money in producing the software, these companies need to earn income from software sales to make profits.
Offences which are outlawed by the act:
- Unauthorised copying of software.
- The selling of software that is known to be copied.
This is a preview of the whole essay
There are some very serious actions which a court can use on anyone breaking the law. These include:
- The copying or sale of copied software can mean a prison sentence of up to two years and a large fine.
- Being in possession of a device designed to copy software can mean a prison sentence of up to six months and a fine of up to £2000.
- Compensation is also often awarded to the software company that has had its software copied.
Despite the fact that copying software is illegal many people still do it. To prevent this some software companies use copy protection methods to make it harder to copy software. Software companies also use licensing agreements to restrict what customers can do with the software that they purchase – so they can’t copy it and sell it on.
Copyright patents act breaches
- A man from Reading was sentenced for running an illegal football streaming website. Mr Goodger was given a six month prison sentence for copyright offences. Freelivefooty had illegally streamed live premier league football matches to subscribers worldwide since 2005. . Goodger was also given 200 hours community service and a £1750 fine. Goodger was found guilty of “one count of communicating a copyrighted work to the public against the copyright patents act 1988”.
This example sums up the act rather nicely, he didn’t have permission to broadcast these games and as a result he faced all the consequences – a prison sentence, a fine and community service.
- In 2009 four men were jailed for a year. They were also ordered to pay £3 million in damages. They were all found guilty of breaking copyright law. The 4 men were behind The Pirate Bay, the world’s most high profile file sharing website. This was a breach of the law because they sold films and songs etc. that didn’t belong to them (they didn’t own the copyrights) - they were illegally downloaded. Also by running the sight they gave other people the opportunity to breach the act and share illegal files.