[TorrentFreak] UK Rejects ACTA Calls To Criminalize Illicit File-Sharing

A leaked ACTA document published by citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net revealed the intention to introduce criminal sanctions into the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) for file-sharing offenses.

“The ACTA agreement, by its opacity and undemocratic nature, allows criminal sanctions to be simply negotiated,” commented Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for La Quadrature du Net. “The leaked document shows that the EU Member States are willing to impose prison sanctions for non-commercial usages of copyrighted works on the Internet as well as for ‘inciting and aiding’, a notion so broad that it could cover any Internet service or speech questioning copyright policies.”

As noted by Zimmermann, the ACTA text includes proposals to apply criminal sanctions to “infringements that have no direct or indirect motivation of financial gain”. There are suggestions that “financial gain” could simply be obtaining anything without paying.