An Unusual Punishment For A Software Pirate

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The Video, ‘Story of My Piracy’ – a film denouncing piracy, in which the pirate Jakub himself stars should get 200,000 views to avoid being sued.

Pirate.jpg

A software pirate is facing an unusual punishment for online infringement offenses.

In the past 15 years, many individuals have faced financial punishments in online copyright infringement offenses.  But Czech Republic the people at the Business Software Alliance (BSA) have come up with the most unusual solution so far to settle their case with a long-time pirate.

Jakub F, an individual, has uploaded links to various forums allowing people to download content from file-hosting sites.  Soon, he was tracked by BSA and got trapped by Police, confiscating his computer, DVDs and an external hard drive at his house.

The case went for trial and in the month of September Jakub was found guilty.  The Court ordered for:

  • A three-year suspended sentence and
  • Confiscation of his equipment.

But it did not end up here.  Various companies including Microsoft, HBO, Sony Music and Twentieth  Century Fox were involved in this lawsuit.  They have informed that they incurred nearly $373,000 in damages in which Microsoft alone incurred $223,000.

Whether the companies ever intended to claw back these sums remains unclear but it now transpires that the plaintiffs and Jakub F reached agreement on what they describe as an “alternative sentence.”

Jakub agreed to star in an anti-piracy PSA about his life as a pirate.  It is titled as ‘The Story of my Piracy’ in which Jakub plays himself.  The alternative sentence is that the debt gets cleared if the video reaches 200,000 views on YouTube.  Else, a huge fine will be payable by him.

Jakub said: “I had to start this site because for eight years I spread pirated software and then they caught me.  I thought that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I thought that it didn’t hurt the big companies. I didn’t even do it for the money, I did it for fun,”

He added: “If I promote my story and my video gets at least 200 thousand views, I will only serve the general part of my sentence.  In the video I play myself and this is really my story.  I shot the video with a professional firm. Sharing is how this started and sharing is how I would like my story to end up.”

BBC Credit Link

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