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U.K. Man Sentenced to 4 Years for Linking to Pirated Works for Profit

posted on 2012-08-18 20:49 EDT

British citizen Anton Vickerman was sentenced on Wednesday to four years in prison for linking to pirated content for profit. Vickerman ran the website surfchannel.com which linked to pirated films and television programs. After an eight-week trial, he was found guilty on conspiracy to defraud, not copyright infringement. Prosecutors asserted that Vickerman accumulated £35,000 (about US$55,000) a month in ad revenue on his website.

"This case conclusively shows that running a website that deliberately sets out to direct users to illegal copies of films and TV shows will result in a criminal conviction and a long jail sentence," said Kieron Sharp, director general of the UK's Federation Against Copyright Theft.

Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news tip.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Update: The technology news website Ars Technica reported on how the movie studio trade group Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) used a U.K. statute that allows private parties to prosecute using their own funds. The government's prosecutors had decided to not pursue a case against Vickerman, so FACT brought its own criminal case to trial. Thanks, Hardgear


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