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December 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

An association of Portuguese video rental stores, claiming that prosecutors are reluctant to file charges against persons who download movies illegally because the penalties are too severe, says it plans to begin reporting thousands of file-sharers to authorities beginning Jan. 5. According to the website TorrentFreak, which tracks BitTorrent activity, the Portuguese group ACAPOR (Associação do Comércio Audiovisual de Portugal) aims to have the “outdated” laws, which currently impose a three-year jail sentence for illegally downloading a movie, modified to more closely resemble France’s recently passed “three-strikes” law, under which, after two warnings to anyone accused of Internet piracy, the accused person’s ISP would be ordered to suspend access for up to a year. (France’s Constitutional Council ruled last week that the accused must receive a trial before Internet access can be suspended.) ACAPOR says it plans to file “the largest collection of criminal complaints submitted simultaneously in the history of Portuguese Justice” against those accused of illegally downloading movies and to continue filing a new batch of 1,000 complaints monthly. In its report about the group’s strategy, TorrentFreak commented. “This stunt appears to be less about justice and more about pressuring the government and generating publicity to scare potential file-sharers.”