OINK uploaders receive low level community sentences in the UK as the Pirates go to court

March 2009


Four of the most prominent uploaders of illegal content to the OiNK BitTorrent tracker service have been sentenced for the various copyright infringement charges to which they had pleaded guilty in December. The sentences at Teesside Crown Court are at the low end of the community sentence spectrum – even after a reduction for the guilty plea: Steven Diprose got 180 hours community service and was ordered to pay £378 court costs, Michael Myers was ordered to pay a £500 fine, a third uploader three got 100 hours community service and £378 costs and a fourth got 50 hours community service and £378 costs. The case Alan Ellis who is alleged to have been one of the main organisers of the service, is ongoing and will return to court in March. Meanwhile in Sweden four men behind the now infamous BitTorrent tracker The Pirate Bay – Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi and Carl Lundström are finally facing copyright infringement charges. The key to the defence will be the way the Pirate Bay works; the site hosts no files itself, merely providing links to pirated content. Elsewhere internet service providers in Denmark are awaiting a decision regarding the possibility of appealing the ruling that forced ISPs in the country to block access to the Bay. Danish ISP Sonofon (previously Tele2) was ordered to block access to after it lost a legal action brought by the country’s music, video and publishing industries. Sonofon unsuccessfully appealed the ruling through the country’s High Court last year, and as a result the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry has taken the ruling as law and last month wrote to other net firms in the country telling them they also need to block access to the Pirate Bay. Sonofon is now trying to appeal the ruling through the Supreme Court, with the support of the Danish Telecoms Association, who argue that providing access to a website like The Pirate Bay is not, in itself, illegal, so there should be no obligation on them to block access to it. One of Sonofon’s rivals, TDC, has voluntarily agreed to block access to the Pirate Bay.

See Cassandra Williams update at  http://www.musiclawupdates.com/08Julylawupdates.htm

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