Stockholm: A Swedish court slapped a 28 year-old Swedish with huge damages for uploading a single pre-release movie to a BitTorrent site.
The film, “Beck – Buried Alive”, was shared on Swebits, Sweden’s oldest BitTorrent piracy sites. Site is down ever since founder was arrested in 2011 on charges of piracy.
The 28-year-old, labelled as Sweden’s “worst ever” movie pirate by rights holders, served as moderator and uploader for the Swebits BitTorrent tracker site from 2008 to its shutting down.
A probe launched to unearth his illegal activities revealed that he has distributed 517 other movies and TV shows on file sharing site Swebits. He was given a suspended jail sentence and ordered to complete 160 hours of community service.
The Swedish District Court also awarded record 4.5m Swedish Krona in restitution, which is far beyond the $150,000 statutory damages permitted per pirated movie title in the United States. The amount of damages includes the cost of movie licensing as well as video quality. It was submitted before the court that video quality if pirated was poor enough to have damaged the reputation.
“The high damages shows what damage creators and rights holders suffer through illegal file sharing of a movie. Going forward, we have a number of processes which we can use to seek compensation for piracy of one or more films,” said Henrik Pontén, a lawyer for anti-piracy firm Legal Alliance.