Copyright infringement actions are nothing new, pirates who illegally distribute software and content do get slapped with legal action from time to time with punishments ranging from jail time to fine or both. In this particular case the software pirate is unable to pay so he’s now required to appear in a PSA about his life as a pirate and if that video doesn’t get 200,000 views on YouTube he ends up with a big fine.
The Czech Republic-based anti-piracy group Business Software Alliance brought this legal action against a long-time software pirate, and since he’s not able to pay the fine, they have come up with a rather interesting solution to settle the case.
Jakub F, the individual accused of pirating software that includes Microsoft Windows, was active in the warez community for a few years. He posted links to various forums allowing other people to download the softwares illegally via file-hosting websites.
He was eventually tracked by the BSA and was even raided by the police who took his DVDs, external hard drives and computer. The case went to trial and Jakub was found guilty, a district court gave him a three year suspended sentence while the companies (HBO, Sony Music, Microsoft etc) that were plaintiffs in the lawsuit said that Jakub had caused them about $373,000 in damages combined.
He didn’t have that kind of money so the BSA gave him an out: star in an anti-piracy public service announcement and if that video gets 200,000 views on YouTube you only have to serve the general part of your sentence. If the video doesn’t get enough views there’s a suggestion that he might be held liable to pay those fines.
“In the video I play myself and this is really my story. I shot the video with a professional firm. Sharing is how this started and sharing is how I would like my story to end up,” Jakub says in the video which has so far got more than 80,000 views. Looks like he just might get there.