University of Hertfordshire


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Original languageEnglish
TypeLetter to Minister, Ladies, Lords and the Intellectual Property Office concerning criminal sanctions for online copyright infringement included in the Digital Economy Bill
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2017


We are a group of campaigners, copyright academics and lawyers. The attached letter outlines how the current wording of Clause 28 DEB on online copyright infringement does not meet the foreseeability and proportionality criteria and as such is in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and EU law.

Therefore, we are writing to ask that the new definition of ‘criminal online copyright infringement’ is narrowed in order that it is foreseeable, proportionate and reduces risk of abuse. We suggest to solve this problem by entering thresholds of seriousness into the definition of offences so as to make the Digital Economy Bill compatible with both, the European Convention on Human Rights and EU law. Also, if the suggested thresholds of seriousness were to be incorporated into the Bill, this would protect individuals who received threatening letters from speculative invoicing copyright extortionists.

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