If you’re caught distributing copyrighted material without authorization, like, say if you upload and download movies on the internet, then the usual resolution is to pay a whacking great fine.
However, the Business Software Alliance in the Czech Republic has come up with an alternate arrangement it’s happy with, albeit a bit of a strange one.
“The most awesome stage”
Last year, Facebook's VP of Design thought the TNW Conference main stage was the best she'd ever been on.
An accused file-sharer known as ‘Jakub F’ simply doesn’t have the money to pay up, so instead he was told to make an apology video warning others about the perils of piracy, and to ensure it gets at least 200,000 views on YouTube.
Right now, it’s at around 145,000, so it looks likely that Jakub F will escape his huge fine, this time around. He will still have to pay a reduced amount, according to a statement sent to TNW by the BSA:
“The Software Alliance confirms that BSA member companies reached an out-of-court agreement with Jakub F., who had been found guilty of online piracy causing damages worth CZK 5.7 million. The district Court in Litoměřice, Czech Republic, sentenced Jakub F. for copyright infringement to 3 years imprisonment with a conditional suspension of the sentence for 3 years. In addition, Jakub F. was ordered to pay compensation for damages caused to the BSA member company rights holders.
In respect of the damages, an out-of-court agreement was reached between Jakub F. and the rights holders, under which Jakub F. will pay partial compensation for the damages on condition that he collaborates on a public education campaign about the risks of Internet Piracy. The video “Story of My piracy”, which is available on YouTube, is the result of the collaboration and, provided that the video achieves 200,000 hits, Jakub F. will only pay a small portion of the damages to the rights holders.
If the video fails to attract sufficient hits, Jakub F. may be liable for the full amount of damages ordered by the court. “
It’s certainly a novel and unusually temperate solution for the anti-piracy lobby, but we wouldn’t recommend you bank on being offered this same deal.
For anyone wondering, that fine is about $224,000 and only requires 200,000 views to settle most of the bill. That means the BSA must equate the value of getting that anti-piracy message out there at a little over a dollar per person.
➤ Busted pirate told to get 200k YouTube hits or face huge fine [TorrentFreak]