some IP infringement is criminal, mainly those related to doing it on a commercial scale and making money out of it, rather than just downloading stuff you don't want to pay for, which is a civil matter.
Not sure that a referendum, if held, would actually go against this. A lot of people, especially those who don't download stuff, would likely vote for tough IP protection.
Although many people would vote for tough laws simply because many more people see music piracy as theft than see it as liberating music from its evil oppressor you also have to face that many people in this country vote the way their daily paper tells them too. And papers are owned by corporations that will want to retain control over their IP.
I love this one:
""Oh I put a couple of hours work in a few years back, you lot have to keep on paying me for that again and again and again; or not benefit from it any more, because as a creator I'm more important than you scum. You just get paid once for one job, but for us wonderful people there is no end.""
That is how it works. If you object to paying for something then the grown-up way to deal with it is to lobby MPs, maybe stand yourself and not buy the product. Not take it for nothing.
Some advice to those who have a real problem with IP laws: Stop buying stuff (hit their profits) and stop downloading stuff illegally. Currently record companies etc. blame falling profits on piracy, and the download figures kind of back that up, at least to a degree. Take away the piracy and there will *have* to be a change in the way things are done.