Home / News & Insights / Legal Updates / Online Infringement – The Crackdown Continues

Online Infringement – The Crackdown Continues

19 Oct 2017

Over the past year both the civil and criminal courts in the UK have been exercising their muscle to crackdown on intellectual property infringement in the digital economy. 


In the civil courts this has seen innovative developments in streaming and blocking injunctions being imposed against ISPs to prevent infringing content being distributed online.  In the criminal courts this has seen several high profile prosecutions resulting in custodial sentences being imposed against the infringers and particularly the suppliers of Kodi boxes designed to enable access to infringing content.


The Crackdown Continues


The Digital Economy Act 2017 has now toughened the position even further and the criminal law sanctions relating to online copyright infringement have been enhanced. The maximum sentence that can be imposed on an infringer is now ten years. This change brings the law in line with what is already available for physical copyright infringement.


The changes affect Sections 198 1(A) and 107 2(A) of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act.


An additional intention or knowledge of wrongdoing (mens rea) has also been introduced.  It is now necessary to prove that a person “knows, or has reason to believe that the act of infringement will cause loss to the owner of the right or expose the owner of the right to a risk of loss”.


These offences do not criminalise the downloading of material but civil action can be still taken against any infringer in these circumstances.


DMH Stallard has a team of intellectual property specialists who can advise and assist on the range of IP enforcement options available for clients. 


For more information contact:

Further reading

  • Brighton Office

    1 Jubilee Street


    East Sussex

    BN1 1GE

  • Crawley Office

    Griffin House

    135 High Street


    West Sussex

    RH10 1DQ

  • Guildford Office

    Wonersh House

    The Guildway

    Old Portsmouth Road



    GU3 1LR

  • Horsham Office

    Ridgeland House

    15 Carfax


    West Sussex

    RH12 1DY

  • London Office

    6 New Street Square

    New Fetter Lane


    EC4A 3BF

  • Get in touch