UK Man Jailed For Internet Movie Piracy

Movies & TV

Kevin L. Clark / August 15, 2012

A British man who operated a website linking to pirated films and TV shows has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Private prosecution was brought for by the U.K.’s Federation Against Copyright Theft, otherwise known as F.A.C.T., and 38-year-old Anton Vickerman must now do the hard time. Vickerman’s site, Surf The Channel, had 400,000 users a day in 2009, which is quite the feat, but nothing compared to the distinction of being the first Brit to be jailed in the U.K. for online piracy.

At the website’s peak, the service ranked among the top 500 most popular websites in the world. Vickerman was sentenced to begin his time on Tuesday at Newcastle Crown Court in North East England, just a few months after being convicted in June on two counts of conspiracy to defraud by facilitating copyright infringement. The conviction carries a maximum penalty of 10 years.

David Puttnam, president of the Film Distributors Association said, “This case can leave no one in any doubt that Internet piracy is controlled by criminals whose profits threaten the ongoing reinvestment in our creative industries.”

Well, Vickerman may be a criminal, but he’s not Kim Dotcom—that guy is a mastermind.

Props: Screen Daily