Don't Surf the Web

POSTED BY Rick Shera
10 September 2012

posted in l@w.geek.nz | Intellectual Property | Copyright | International

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A colleague sent me the sentencing remarks for Anton Vickerman (link is to a pdf download - decision also available below), who was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for criminal copyright fraud in the UK.  Vickerman's site, Surf the Channel, provided links to material, which in many cases was copyright infringing.

This is sentencing only so the full arguments as to whether linking can constitute infringement etc had already been lost by the defence.

Interesting to see though the assessment of damage:

In determining the appropriate sentence I have to make an assessment of the loss to the film industry resulting from your conduct. That is an all but impossible task. The Prosecution estimate the loss at running into hundreds of millions of pounds. That estimate is based on the loss of revenue from STC’s provision of the means to access the top 50 films during the period covered by the indictment. It is put at between £52 and £198 million. Those figures are based on their research suggesting that 55% of those who accessed the films for free would, had they been unable to watch them for free, have paid either through the box office to watch the film or rented a DVD. Others would have purchased the film on the High Street and others would have viewed it on pay TV or downloaded it from an official site. In reality it is somewhat speculative very difficult to calculate the loss to the industry but that pirating films in the way that you did, does expose the industry to the likelihood of huge losses. I accept that any assessment of the loss to the industry is highly speculative and while I do not deal with you on the basis of the figures advanced by the prosecution, there is no doubt in my judgement but that the industry has suffered a loss running into millions.

In the end though, I expect the sentence is in no small part due to His Honour's assessment of Vickerman's (lack of) remorse.  Judges are human after all.

I’m bound to say that in all the years I’ve worked in this court I have never encountered arrogance of the kind that you displayed during the trial. 

POSTED BY Rick Shera
10 September 2012

posted in l@w.geek.nzIntellectual PropertyCopyrightInternational

VIEWED 4599 TIMES

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