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UK court jails filesharing site owner

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Four years for sharing links

The owner of the Surfthechannel site Anton Vickerman has been jailed for four years for the crime of linking to online videos. Vickerman did not host the media files itself, but the site used to be one of the UK's most popular sources of pirated content.

Anton Vickerman designed the service's pages, hiring others to source material and carry out other back-end functions. He was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud in June for "facilitating" copyright infringement. Newcastle Crown Court would have given him 10 years for the crime, but four years is pretty steep.

The Federation Against Copyright Theft said that at its height in 2009 the site attracted more than 400,000 visitors a day, generating more than £35,000 in advertising revenue a month. He funnelled money to a bank account in Latvia.

His wife was arrested too but was found not guilty by the jury. Surfthechannel continued to operate and only went offline in May.


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