The British Government has published a new report which shows the results it got following a consultation carried out in July, 2015. The consultation was carried out to gage the public's opinion on a maximum sentence of ten years for online piracy, from the current two years. The increased term time would bring the punishment in line with the penalty for physical copyright infringement.
The Government received 1,032 responses to the consultation, the majority of which (938) were initiated by a campaign carried out by the Open Rights Group (ORG) - a digital rights and civil liberties group. With ORG's organising, the results showed 1,011 opposed the ten year sentence and just 21 supported it.
The other voices heard in this consultation were from businesses, organisations and individuals. Some may say that ORG skewed the results of this consultation, but even when we deduct votes made through its campaign, the majority are still against the new term length with 73 opposing and 21 for.
The report thanks everyone who took part, and ends by saying that the Government will "carefully consider the best way forward. However, the Government remains committed to tackling those engaged in online criminality."
It is important to note that the current British Government is solely made up of the right wing, pro-business Conservative party who will likely come down on the side of extending the sentence despite these findings. Supporters of the ten year sentence includes industry groups BPI, FACT and the MPA, all of which have likely had a part in the proposal to change the sentence. These groups are directly responsible for blocks on sites such as The Pirate Bay.