It is bad enough to be fined for distributing an illegal movie torrent, but a Swedish movie pirate found himself fined extra for distributing copy that was poor quality.
A moderator and uploader of Swebits has been hit with a huge damages award. For uploading a single pre-release movie the 28-year-old is now required to pay $652,000, the equivalent amount the studio would have charged for a license to distribute the movie for free.
He also received a suspended jail sentence plus 160 hours community service.
Anti-piracy outfit Antipiratbyran claimed that the man was Sweden’s “worst ever” pirate which is a bit of an insult to the vikings who managed to actually capture whole countries or Martin Pechlin. The prosecution demanded at least one year in jail.
The damage award was inflated by the fact that he issued a poor quality copy of the flick, which the film makers claimed lowered the standard of the brand.
The Pirate Party is outraged by the decision, which exceeds the $150,000 per title statutory damages possible in the United States, where courts roll over to Big Content and give silly infringement penalties.
Gustav Nipe, chairman of the Young Pirates, told Torrent Freak that it was wrong to have such a harsh penalty for doing something carried out by millions of Swedes. It shows how outdated Swedish legislation is and the only way forward is a radical reform of copyright law that allows for the sharing of culture.