Colombian Government Stiffens Penalties For Piracy
On June 22nd, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe signed new law reforms to the criminal code increasing the penalties for copyright piracy, effectively making it a serious crime, and providing greater protection for legitimate digital services. The original bill was promoted by Senator Mauricio Pimiento and Representative Telesforo Pedraza. Both legislators understood the damage that piracy is causing to the Colombian music market and pushed for improvements to the law. The changes they proposed, now accepted as part of the criminal code, were:
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* An increase in the maximum prison term, from 5 to 8 years, and a corresponding rise in the minimum term from 2 to 4 years. With the new guidelines judges will be able to keep accused individuals in custody for the duration of their trial and also impose effective jail time as part of their sentences.
* Implementation of criminal penalties for violation of technological protection measures in accordance with WIPO Treaties. Previously, these transgressions were punishable by fines.
* Criminal penalties for those who provide fraudulent information used for distribution of public performance or broadcasting fees to copyright owners.
The new law sends a strong message from the Colombian government that copyright piracy is not an acceptable practice.
IFPI has congratulated the Uribe administration and the Colombian Congress for this important piece of legislation and they also recognize and thank Senator Pimiento and Representative Pedraza for their leadership of the project.
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