Jail time and heavy fines are really over the top

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 April, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 April, 2001, 12:00am

The penalties which will be imposed under the ill-conceived copyright ordinance have not received significant press commentary.

I understand the penalties are $50,000 and four years' imprisonment for each offence.

That is four years in jail for a copyright offence.

This penalty is totally out of line with the nature of the crime.

Laws must be promulgated based on the welfare of the public at large, and I fail to see how using bootleg software, for example, is such a threat to this welfare.

Is it really in society's interests to imprison for four years anyone who breaches this ordinance? The sentence must fit the crime and in this case a financial penalty is all that is appropriate.

I would suggest a penalty of $10,000 per offence rather than $50,000 would be more in line with the nature of the offence.