AN ADMIN from a now shuttered Bittorrent website has been fined $652,000 for uploading an early copy of a Swedish movie.
According to Torrentfreak the fine is that much because that is how much the rightsholder would have charged for a licence to show it. Along with this he was given a suspended jail sentence and 160 hours of community service for his role in the distribution of 500 other pieces of content.
The admin is from the now closed down Swebits Bittorrent tracker, and a lawyer representing his pursuers, the Rights Alliance, said that this is the largest ever fine dished out for a Swedish movie.
"[The $652,000] refers to compensation and is equal to what the man would have paid if he had bought a licence to distribute the movie for free downloads," said lawyer Henrik Pontén.
"The man also has to pay damages for other losses such as disturbing the market and goodwill losses. This shows what damages are caused to the creators and rights holders by the illegal file-sharing of one movie. In the future a number of criminal cases are up for trial and damages will be brought forward for one or several movies."
The uploader is not named, but he is said to be 28 years old. According to the Swedish Pirate Party the fine is way too high and more than a little disproportionate.
"To receive such a harsh penalty for doing something carried out by millions of Swedes shows how outdated our legislation is. The only way forward is a radical reform of copyright law that allows for the sharing of culture," said Gustav Nipe, chairman of the Young Pirates.
Peter Sunde, one of the founders of The Pirate Bay, suggested that the courts had come on much too strong. "Swedish court says that BT-site Swebits is 'organised crime'. Come on!!!" he said. µ
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