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German downloaders could get 2 year jail terms

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 29 Mar 2006 15:32 User comments (30)

German downloaders could get 2 year jail terms While the change is condemned by consumer groups, the German justice minister has backed amendments to German law that could send Internet pirates who download illegally for personal use to jail for 2 years. In addition, anyone found to have profited from downloading can get a 5 year term. The minister, Brigitte Zypries, said that consumers are still allowed to make personal copies of legitimately bought DVDs. Oh how kind a lady she must be to allow customers of the movie industry to make backups of content they pay for.
German consumer groups were disgusted with the change, arguing that it sends a very wrong message and criminalises many consumers. Zypries said that people who download movies before their official release date are clearly breaking the law. The movie industry in Germany was lobbying for changes, blaming this form of piracy for falling sales in the country. It estimates that 20 million films are downloaded by Germans each year.

Critics however are quick to point out that falling cinema attendance and falling DVD sales are probably caused more by the falling quality of major Hollywood movie releases. 2 years is a very harsh sentence for people who download not for profit, especially when you consider there are much more serious crimes taking place in Germany right at this moment.

Source:
The Register

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30 user comments

129.3.2006 18:20

Yeah, all this from the country that gave the world Uwe Boll. Thank you, Germany and thank you, Uwe Boll. You make my soul die a little bit more each day.

229.3.2006 22:36

Damn Nazis... Oops! Did I say this out loud?

329.3.2006 23:26
jmaestro
Inactive

People prosecuted for physical assault have gotten away with a couple hundred dollar fine, no jail time. Two years for this, two years of jail rape? Isn't the punishment supposed to fit the crime? It seems a bit excessive, but the movie studios would probably disagree. This makes me wonder... If we allowed the MPAA to set the punishment for piracy, without question, where would they draw their limit? Would they say two years, or would they want more... Life? The death sentence? What would the MPAA say is a fair punishment for downloading copyrighted property? If they WOULD choose something extremely excessive, this implies that any current punishment they are lobbying for would also be excessive (just more digestible by the public). I'm concerned that these punishments aren't meant to punish or convert criminals, but to set an example, scare people, and earn the film studios more revenue. Why not make all crimes punishable by an extreme sentence? Wouldn't we have a virtually crime free world then? But at what cost? What do people think, I'm curious about your thoughts?

430.3.2006 2:49

Could be a scare tactic, so you will imediately settle out of court with the movie industry. They will not profit if you go to jail now will they. Maybe it will turn out like the social security, when you grass your neighbour you get a financial reward, oh man the list is endless. I would stick to the theory, PROVE IT.

530.3.2006 7:31

schweinhunden dumkopfs MPAA !!!!!

630.3.2006 9:05

How many years do you get for uploading? Germans better save their receipts or they go to jail. lol!

730.3.2006 11:35

Nothing like haveing the lobbyists set the punishment you get and not the criminail system.....

830.3.2006 12:32
tedrehak
Inactive

Maybe more serious crimes are taking place in Germany, but not against the Jews who control the movie industry. Six million Jews did not die in vain, so that any German can just cut into their profits.

930.3.2006 14:13
m_towell
Inactive

Quote:
Why not make all crimes punishable by an extreme sentence? Wouldn't we have a virtually crime free world then? But at what cost?
It's a death penalty to import drugs into Indonesia, yet people still do it. I don't think a harsh penalty is such a deterant for many people. They just make sure they're not caught.

1030.3.2006 16:29

Good thing there are several very good proxy switcher programs out there.

1130.3.2006 21:47

How many shares has she got in the movie3 industry. If this stupid law goes into effect, it will also go into effect in the rest of Europe, and then the jails would be full of downloaders, and they would have to release all the rapists and child molesters to make room for them.

1230.3.2006 22:27

I say the worst they should be allowed to do if you get caught downloading copyrighted material is make you buy whatever you downloaded. This is typical of the justice system. Whether it is in europe or North America. Since prevention is not always possible, they try and apply old "punishment" solutions to a new problem. I don't think locking up downloader with actual criminals is a humane solution. I think this is changing now but a large amount of downloaders are just kids sitting at their computer. It's not cool to put a criminal record under their name for an "offense" that their all of a sudden decided was worth serving time in prison. Geez...

1330.3.2006 22:58

even during ww2 german justice was extreme, I think they should be made to conform to the justice system of other European countries, after all they claim to be part of it, or is this another ploy whilst they mass troops on the borders.

1431.3.2006 2:36
DTrainer
Inactive

Nick600, that`s one wicked sense of humour you got there! But it did make me wonder how many boxes of cd`s and dvd`s I would be trying to shift on ebay if they did force you to buy all the illegally downloaded material not to mention exactly how much this would cost. Probably be cheaper to pay a fine? Uwe Boll would also probably make an honest profit for once.

1531.3.2006 14:41

The reason no ones going to the big movie theatres anymore isn't because they're downloading movies anyway! It's because we have better theatres at home than they have at even the newest of theatres. At least my video and audio systems are calibrated and maintained. i don't know who the bloody morons are who are installing equipment into some of these huge cineplexes, but there ain't much attention to detail!! I guess they just figure, oh well, it's big and it's loud, so they'll love it... got news for ya... it's $h!t!!! ;-)

1631.3.2006 19:07

I hate going to the movies.. First you have to go outside, then GO to the theater, Then wait in line, then pay $9.00 US for one ticket. Then wait in another line for Overpriced crap snacks, then go into a theater that smells like a homeless person covered in fake popcorn butter URINATED all over your seat thats far too small, and far to close to all the other people in the theater that dont want to sit next to you either, Then watch 15 minutes of COMMERCIALS THAT I PAID FOR for cars and supermarkets and coca cola. Then see trailers of movies I dont give a Sh|t about. Then watch a movie being projected with the same celuloid technology we used in the 1950's onto a screen thats dirty and covered in gummy bears. and listen to it in TSS (Theater Sund Sucks) Semi surround sound. Then have to leave in the middle of the movie to take a leak and miss the most important scene. Then At the end you and everyone in the theater get to use the overly small and under sized bathroom ALL at the same time before wondering back to you car only to find its been stolen. OR... Go online, Download Movie, Put on Pajamas, go make sandwich, Watch movie in comfortable private living room/bedroom/home theater in DTS True surround with awsome quality FFDShow improved video, Finish movie, go to sleep. save 9 bucks, screw the man then your wife. Choose

1731.3.2006 21:38

@ Zeos Oh man. This is funny !! :-) Most will agree that this is a pretty accurate depiction of the movie theater experience.. LOL. The thing is, when we go to the movies, some of that is going to happen but we're hoping it does not happen all at once! Another reason we're not going to the movies as much anymore is because hollywood is cranking out terrible movies at the time.

181.4.2006 1:40
tedrehak
Inactive

Thank you Zeos, for the most amusing and true-to-life description of a movie theater visit. You obviously go to the same theaters I do.

191.4.2006 10:54

OK I am readng the law in German. It says "make avaiable for download." That is the only reference to download. This means uploading or hosting but not downloading. every story on the web comes from the same single source which appears to have gotten it from a translation by the German version of the MPAA. The law says nothing at all abuot downloaders and the two year terms absolutely refers ONLY to uploaders or hosts.

201.4.2006 11:28

Maybe something originally got lost in translation...?

211.4.2006 14:20

They aren't Nazi's there anymore, but they are working hard on becoming the next Nazi Germany, they just won't call themselves that! This is an EXTREMELY harsh sentence for poeple who are downloading not for profit! If anything, it should be a stiff fine for downloading copyrighted works, not a jail term. Losing money keeps people more honest than losing time in a jail cell.

221.4.2006 18:38

"Maybe more serious crimes are taking place in Germany, but not against the Jews who control the movie industry. Six million Jews did not die in vain, so that any German can just cut into their profits." -tedrehak ... yes germans also make cars... those cars prolly kill some jews a year.. wanna go kill car companies and send their babies to jail then rape their wives? thats fair! stealing is against the law but its not as bad as rape or murder... + jews own media in North America.. does that mean that all countries that faught against nazis in war should be able to download because they faught against Hitler..?

231.4.2006 23:15

... yes germans also make cars... those cars prolly kill some jews a year.. wanna go kill car companies and send their babies to jail then rape their wives? Yes. stealing is against the law but its not as bad as rape or murder... Except when you steal lives. And vaginas. + jews own media in North America.. does that mean that all countries that faught against nazis in war should be able to download because they faught against Hitler..? -Sounds like a good perk for fighting Hitler if you ask me. lol.

242.4.2006 0:11

2 years in jail, they will probably learn to blow a safe rob a bank, and get the know how on how to do just about any crime that they would never have dreamed about, its a learning process, and not a good one

252.4.2006 15:32
metrixxx
Inactive

I bet that they only 2 blokes in whole country, who downloading for personal use, otherwise half Germany wiil be in jails soon. Good thing I am not In Germany. That would make 3 of us)))

262.4.2006 17:18

jews this jews that blah >< greedy bastards of ALL kinds have always tried to make "livieng free" immpossiable.... for instances POT it realy is the perfect drug it cant kill you unless you are stupid to begain with..altho I am knowen for my bouts of negitive IQ *L* but thats not the point compared to Booze its ahell of alot better for you and ahell of alot more virsitel,they realy need to pull thier heads out of their asses and controll it not bann it and ignore it >> I am in the US BTW,I see what thier doing to Canadas pot prnce is some of the stupidest BS I have ever seen I hope to hell canada never lets him go ><

272.4.2006 17:21

isnt the news alittle off? this "law" is about Uploading not downlaoding 0-o

282.4.2006 23:15

There could be a gray area though, as Torrenting involves both uploading and downloading, which is the way most people get their movies. There are very few FTP site that just DL movies for free (btw: if you know of any let me know).

293.4.2006 9:48

I think the punishment should fit the film. so for war movies you do 1 years national service. romantic comedys you have to stay in with the wife for a year and if you get caught with porn :-) :-) :-)

3019.4.2006 4:06

Q: What has Hitler and the MPAA got in common? A: If Hitler had done the job properly there wouldn't be any MPAA left.

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