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UK Movie Pirates Lose Appeal, Prison Time Stands

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  • UK Movie Pirates Lose Appeal, Prison Time Stands

    By Ernesto on October 20, 2016

    Two UK men, who released thousands of movies onto popular torrent sites, lost their appeal this week. The Appeal Court upheld their sentences of more than four years each, arguing that the punishments are "stiff" but not "manifestly excessive".

    Early 2013, five UK men were arrested for their alleged involvement in several interrelated movie release groups including RemixHD, 26K, UNiQUE, DTRG and HOPE/RESISTANCE.

    The groups were responsible for distributing no less than 9,000 copyright infringing movies on popular torrent sites, including ExtraTorrent.

    These releases generated five million unauthorized ‘views’ and a million pounds in lost revenue, according to a calculation from UK’s Federation Against Copyright Theft, which was actively involved in the case.

    All the men opted to plead guilty and late last year Wolverhampton Crown Court handed down sentences adding up to 17 years of jail time.

    Sahil Rafiq and Reece Baker received the toughest sentences, four-and-a-half years and four years and two months, respectively. The pair appealed the decision in court this week, but without the desired result.

    Defense lawyers argued that a reduced sentence would be appropriate as the men didn’t profit from the widespread copyright infringement. However, the Court of Appeal rejected this argument and denied the appeal.

    “Whilst we accept that the sentences passed on these two young men were stiff, we are unpersuaded that they were manifestly excessive,” Mr Justice Hickinbottom said, quoted by Express & Star.

    This means that Sahil Rafiq, who was accused of uploading more than 880 movies and causing 1.5 million illegal downloads as founder of 26K, will have to sit out his four-and-a-half year sentence.

    Reece Baker, a member of DTRG and the founder of HOPE/RESISTANCE, has to serve four years and two months. He was said to have triggered more than 226,000 illegal downloads and aggravated his circumstances by continuing to upload movies while he was on bail.

    The three other men haven’t appealed their sentences, as far as we know.

    Graeme Reid, founder of ‘RemixHD,’ was jailed for three years and six months and ANALOG and TCM founder Ben Cooper received the same sentence. Scott Hemming, who uploaded some 800 movies, received a two-year suspended sentence.

    Due to the distributed nature of BitTorrent, many of the movies the men released online are still being shared on public torrent sites, and perhaps will still be long after they’ve served their sentences.



    Additional background and information is available in our previous in -depth coverage on these cases, here and here.
    UK Movie Pirates Lose Appeal, Prison Time Stands - TorrentFreak

  • #2
    ...and a million pounds in lost revenue, according to a calculation from UK’s Federation Against Copyright Theft, which was actively involved in the case.
    Why do they always throw out some calculation about "lost revenue?" The only possible formula they could use would be cost of movie/dvd/cd multiplied by the number of downloads. However, it's been proven over and over that many people who download content for free would or could NOT purchase it legally. In those instances, there is no "lost revenue." They would not have earned anything either way.

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    • #3
      This is from same story but different article:

      Two members of a movie pirating gang which cost the film industry £1 million have lost appeals against their sentences.

      Sahil Rafiq, aged 26, and Reece Baker, 24, were part of a racket that created copies of blockbuster films and distributed them on the web for free.


      In December Rafiq, of Warnford Walk, Wolverhampton, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years while Baker, of Daimler Close, Castle Bromwich, was handed four-years and two-months.


      Read more on the court case
      Movie pirates in £1m racket start jail terms
      But on Tuesday lawyers representing the pair argued those sentences did not reflect the fact they made nothing from the fraud.


      Mr Justice Hickinbottom, sitting with Lord Justice Lloyd Jones and Judge Adele Williams QC, rejected the appeal ruling everything had been taken into account.


      He said: “Whilst we accept that the sentences passed on these two young men were stiff, we are unpersuaded that they were manifestly excessive.”


      The plot was believed to have resulted in copies of up to 9,000 films, watched by as many as five million people in less than four years and involved a total of five men.


      Ben Cooper, of Dilloways Lane, Willenhall, was given three-and-a-half years while Graeme Reid, of Kingsclere Walk, Chesterfield, got the same.


      Scott Hemming, of Perry Common Road, Birmingham, was handed a two-year suspended prison sentence and made the subject of a mental health treatment requirement.


      All five had admitted conspiracy to defraud at various stages between March 1 in 2010, and January 1 last year by copying, distributing or making available online infringing copies of films.


      Rafiq had been involved in the piracy scam for two-and-a-half years.


      He used various identities and ran the group 26K where he was responsible for illegally releasing 835 films, which could be downloaded online.


      Baker, who had been involved for 20 months, had gone by the names Hope and Resistance.


      He had helped to upload 310 films and had paid £100 for overseas copies of the films Argo and Skyfall.
      Pair from movie pirating gang jailed over PS1 million film piracy lose appeals << Express & Star

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