Three months jail for Hong Kong man in web piracy case
In the first case of its kind, a Hong Kong court has sentenced a man accused of sharing pirated content on the internet through Bittorrent network. He would be going to the jail for a period of three months. As per records, this would be the first instance of someone being jailed for downloading or sharing pirated content from the Bittorrent network. Chan Nai-ming was charged for uploading three Hollywood movies onto the Web via the Bittorrent.
The courts just want to issue a warning to the online users on what they can be charged for if they are using the internet and the networks like that of Bittorrent to pirate digitally protected content. While sentencing, magistrate Colin Mackintosh said in a statement: “The message has to be sent out by courts that the distribution of infringing copies, particularly by seeding films onto the Internet, will not be treated leniently.â€
However, as per sources Chan was immediately released on bail of 5,000 Hong Kong dollars (641 US) pending an appeal. Judge also said that despite the fact he found no monetary gain in the process of sharing files on the internet, he considered the act to be similar to manufacturing and distributing pirated CDs and DVDs in the market.
Ricky Fung, chairperson of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry added his views on the judgment: “The deterrent effect is certainly there. A lot of people think they would be lucky enough not to get caught but they should realize now they could be punished by the law.â€