BitTorrent User Goes To Jail - InformationWeek

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12/15/2006
02:40 PM
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BitTorrent User Goes To Jail

A Hong Kong court has upheld a three-month jail sentence for a 38-year-old man who the Motion Picture Association claims is the first to be charged for using BitTorrent file sharing.

A Hong Kong court has upheld a three-month jail sentence for what the Motion Picture Association claims is the first case in which prosecutors used criminal charges to pursue someone for using BitTorrent file sharing.

Chan Nai-ming, 38, was found guilty in November of violating Hong Kong's copyright laws for distributing copies of Dare Devil, Miss Congeniality, and Red Planet through a peer-to-peer file-sharing site. He appealed a magistrate court's decision, but Chan began serving the sentence when an appeals court upheld the decision this week.

"In upholding this conviction and sending a message to a pirate caught sharing copyrighted movies illegally, Hong Kong continues to demonstrate its intellectual property rights protection leadership," said Mike Ellis, senior VP and regional director, Asia-Pacific, MPA. "The court has made very clear today that copyright thieves must face the legal consequences of their actions, and it has affirmed the hard work of Hong Kong's law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies in protecting intellectual property rights."

The MPA claims its studios lost $1.2 billion to Internet piracy in the Asia-Pacific region and $2.3 billion worldwide in 2005. The MPA said it has investigated more than 34,000 cases of piracy in the Asia-Pacific region and helped authorities conduct more than 10,500 raids.

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