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Brit movie pirate gets 4yrs

Discussion in 'General Board' started by scooter, Aug 14, 2012.

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  1. scooter United Kingdom

    scooter Well-Known Member

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  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. namealot United Kingdom

    namealot Well-Known Member

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    Yes great government spending tax payers money doing the dirty work of large corporations on a completely pointless PR exercise there are plenty of cheaper and more efficient ways to stop pirating etc, Prosecutions are an absolute waste of time… Money would be better spent getting descent accountants to close the tax loopholes that would benefit all not just a handful of companies and shareholders....
     
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    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
  4. Pred United Kingdom

    Pred Well-Known Member

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    yeah and a bank washing billions for Iran gets a fine
    and people guilty of wholesale murder walk every day

    food for thought, if he made tons of cash and had a huge amount of cash he would have been able to negotiate some sort of financial settlement I bet
    fact is I bet he didn't

    I don't condone what he did but look at the agenda ffs
     
  5. Pred United Kingdom

    Pred Well-Known Member

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    I looked at writeup, that's a lot of cash he was making and could understand a sentence like that for tax evasion but surely he should have just been sued for the cash by the companies concerned. more of a civil matter imo not taxpayer money and to pay to incarcerate him

    also, not that different from what youtube did for years
     
  6. retired_member33

    retired_member33 Retired Member

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    Dead on.
     
  7. peter_w United Kingdom

    peter_w Active Member

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    Is it not setting a worrying precedent that someone has been jailed for, essentially, linking to other websites?
     
  8. Systreg

    Systreg Well-Known Member

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    This is the same thing that happened to a site called Oink, and also to tv-links.co.uk, both of those cases were unsuccessfull, so what's the difference here?

    It's also the same as the current case of the UK man waiting to be extradited to the US, where it has been clearly established that he has done nothing wrong under UK law, yet they are quite happy to send him off to the US for trial.

    I was reading about this surfthechannel.com story on this site:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20...links-site-guilty-conspiracy-to-defraud.shtml

    It states that there is a private UK anti piracy group called FACT, and they were the people who helped bring this case to trial, and that they were invited to go along to watch the police raid, and not only that, this private company were apparently given the surfthechannel.com computers.

    As is pointed out in the comments on the link above, what was to stop FACT from actually starting the computers up and adding in loads of links themselves? After all, the defendant provided unchallenged evidence that Anti-Piracy companies, in particular Aiplex Software, are responsible for automated adding of around a million links to his website.

    The comments on that site throw up a lot of questions as to why this 4 year sentence should not of happened, the one that gets me is, this was supposed to be a case of copyright infringement, so, they should have been charged with copyright infringement but, instead, they were charged with conspiracy to defraud, which is what Oink and tv-links.co.uk were charged with, and which they both won.

    The other thing is, the trial judge directed the jury that as a matter of law, directly linking to infringing content is illegal but, also said there is no such offence under UK law. So, it's illegal but, there's no offence, so how can that come in the equation during the trial?

    There are some interesting comments from the trial, see comment #40 on the link above who posted some quotes from somone who was running a blog about the trial and reporting from it (their blog has now been taken down)

    I wouldn't be surprised if this gets kicked out on appeal, or a big drop in length of sentence, or something I've seen numerous times is, rather than quashing the sentence completely, they'll decide at appeal (whenever that comes up), that by that time, the defendant has served enough time and can be released, and by doing that, they close the door on the defendant making a claim for loss of earnings etc whilst banged up.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
  9. scooter United Kingdom

    scooter Well-Known Member

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    There is a huge difference between this case and others that have gone before. This is why it is a landmark case.

    I originally wanted to post the first post here on the original thread that was started some time back about the same case but i could not find it so i started a new one. So we are going to cover old ground again.

    This guy had a similar site that was closed down by the FBI. He decided to take another gamble and he has lost big time. He is no innocent. He was making very serious money and he knew exactly what he was doing.

    So, the question the jury were asked was, was the site set up solely to gain financially by actively seeking and linking to copyrighted material or was this just an unfortunate byproduct of the sites structure. The answer the jury gave was decisive and in my view, rightly so.

    This site was set up purely to precure financially from other peoples work and it was very successful at doing so. It was in the top 500 sites in the world and was making him a eye watering £35K per month.

    This now (rightly so) sets a precedent in the UK that it does not matter where your server is, If you are in the UK and set up a site with the sole purpose of gaining financially from offering pirated material, your now fecked.


    Quote from the register:
    After hearing the evidence, the jury had to decided whether the defendant was honest or dishonest: had he acted in good faith? It's a question that invited them to discern the defendant's true intentions, by examining (for example) whether he was actively curating the material presented on his website.

    Copyright infringement cases have historically been bogged down in complex issues of who exactly is liable, presenting defendants with an opportunity to escape through loopholes. Other defendants have attempted to argue that it's beyond Blighty's jurisdiction because the servers are located outside the UK.

    The Geordie jury wasn't impressed - and Vickerman was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud by copyright.

    I said before there is no difference between his actions and those that set up a dvd factory churning out thousands of dvds to sell at markets. He did it with one sole purpose. To gain financially from offering copyrighted material to others.

    He was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud by copyright which is illegal under business fraud legislation.

    If someone came to this forum and scraped all your sites from your signatures, put a link to your source code on their own site, offering them as free templates and plastered it with adverts would we all be happy with this?






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  10. retired_member33

    retired_member33 Retired Member

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    @Scooter, do you have a link to the full case? Spent quite some time reading court cases when I was a student and still love it.
     
  11. namealot United Kingdom

    namealot Well-Known Member

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    They couldn’t even make a case for “copyright” he was found guilty of 'conspiracy to defraud' arcehic bullshit in the 70s for copying / sharing videos said it would destroy the movie indsustry… bull then and its bull now.

    Its so controversial as a crime its unbelivable I can legally build a site with links to milllions of copyright infringed moves software make money from advertising etc as long as I’m a search engine etc and I’m commiting no offence but if someone does they are ?

    Those representing the “victims” were allowed to be there when he was arrested, presant at his interviews and given unrestricted access to the evidence… if he is guilty so is google, you tube the companies that supply the hosting, banks that allow the credit cards, advertisers etc its not one law for certain business another for others..

    Ignore the bits when he was arrested when Fact and the MPAA hired a private detectives to pretended to be interested in buying his house to take photographs of computer equipment, Maybe tescos should fraudently enter my home if the kids are making a space rocket out of there brand imaged washing up bottles... The UK isn't now or should ever be the civil enforcer for the international media cartels……?
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  12. peter_w United Kingdom

    peter_w Active Member

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    You are talking about very different things. As far as I am aware, he has not been actively recording and uploading the movies. If he had, absolutely it would be a cut and dry case. He has been 'linking' to it.

    It will almost certainly be thrown out on appeal. But they will have achieved what they wanted by then. People will be running scared from doing this kind of activity. I dare say come Saturday the amount of Premier League streams you can find will be about half there was last year. The kids running these things will be crapping themselves after yesterday's ruling.

    I imagine twitter has more links to copyrighted material than any other website in history, but I doubt anyone will be knocking on their door anytime soon.
     
  13. murph

    murph Well-Known Member

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    This has always baffled me. How can simply linking be the offense, it should 100% be the website owner that uploads and hosts that gets prosecuted. If anything, you want to encourage the links as highlight the illegal activity!!!
     
  14. Brassneck United Kingdom

    Brassneck Well-Known Member

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    I don't the know the full details of this case but these sort of sites:

    - collect together a lot of links
    - their sole purpose is to catalogue sources of pirated / copyright material
    - by doing so they generate lots of traffic to their own sites
    - they have members / marketing lists
    - they make money out of that traffic through ads etc.


    Stephen.
     
  15. murph

    murph Well-Known Member

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    I suppose if these sites didn't exist, the question is would the material be uploaded in the first place? If the answer is yes then surely a site with a big list of culprits is quite a handy resource to those looking to prosecute!
    I don't know, but I do think making a link illegal is dodgy territory IMO
     
  16. scooter United Kingdom

    scooter Well-Known Member

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    But it is not any more. That it why it is a landmark case.

    This does away with, "I am only linking, I hold no material" and "my server is in China"

    The question the jury had to decide on, was the site set up for the sole purpose of gaining financially from other peoples copyrighted work.






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  17. pete

    pete Member

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    Wow 4 years for linking to a few sites hosting pirated material - I wonder how long Google will get?
     
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  18. stender United Kingdom

    stender Well-Known Member

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    Top 500 websites and first i've heard of it. I lead a sheltered life.
     
  19. scooter United Kingdom

    scooter Well-Known Member

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    The untold story.......... Hardly "just a student"

    Vickerman ran surfthechannel as a business through a limited company, Scopelight Ltd, and was generating income of over £300,000 per year.

    Profits from the company were funnelled to a bank account in Latvia operated by an offshore company based in Dominica. :rolleyes:

    According to the UK’s Federation Against Copyright (FACT) Vickerman targeted pirated films, including those not yet released at the cinema, which he and his staff secretly and anonymously uploaded to third party sites before linking to them via surfthechannel. Members of the surfthechannel community were also encouraged to find, check and add links.

    http://www.screendaily.com/news/uk-...-four-years-for-online-piracy/5045371.article



    Enjoy jail. :D





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  20. newguy United Kingdom

    newguy Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  21. newguy United Kingdom

    newguy Well-Known Member

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    So if someone, say, set up a website linking to content on youtube, and made money from that, they should go to prison for years, and yet youtube is blame free on account that they can claim that they didn't know the content was on their servers?

    I 'do' see why in this case there is intent to link to copyright content, but the sentence is insane. You could beat someone to a pulp or plough someone down in your car and get a shorter sentence than that. Legally, until this case, this wasn't an activity that was going to result in imprisonment, so it would've been reasonable at the time to think that setting up such a site would not result in a four year prison sentence. How exactly are we, the public, or this guy going to benefit from paying for his imprisonment for that length of time? Imprisoning a person who's likely a decent guy over something like this is more likely to make him a danger to society when he emerges from prison, not enters it. Huge corporations hold massive influence in our 'democracy'. That's what we should be worried about here. From the techdirt link it's clear that the way in which this case was carried out is very worrying.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
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