Tuesday, October 25, 2005
BUSTED for Sharing
Any of you Hong Kongers that thought sharing files in Hong Kong might be safer then in the US or other countries think again. I have not even heard of another such case where a "small time" file sharer got busted in another country. It is common for the courts to go after the "big guys" but this guy had a whopping 3 movies he was sharing...
Hong Kong court convicts file-sharerOct 25, 2005
Telecom Asia Daily
(Japan Economic Newswire via NewsEdge) A Hong Kong court set a precedent by convicting a BitTorrent file-sharing software user of copyright infringement.
Chan Nai-ming, 38, was convicted on three charges of copyright infringement at the Tuen Mun Magistrates' Court for using the peer-to-peer software to share three movies with dozens of users on the Internet.
Copies of Hollywood films "Daredevil," "Red Planet" and "Miss Congeniality" were found on the defendant's home computer during a customs raid in January.
Magistrate Colin Mackintosh said in his judgment that Chan had the intention to distribute the files, and that even though he did not profit from the sharing, his act violated copyrights and caused financial loss to the movies' owners.
Chan will be sentenced Nov. 7 so that the judge can have time to decide an appropriate sentence for what was described as a "complicated" case.
The maximum penalty for copyright infringement under Hong Kong law is four years imprisonment and a HK$50,000 ($6,400) fine for each infringing article.
Commerce, Industry and Technology Secretary John Tsang welcomed the judgment, saying it "means a lot to Hong Kong" and "should have a big deterring effect on copyright infringement."
The customs department said it will continue combating file-sharing, bolstered by the case.
The movie and music industries were also pleased with the judgment but said the law against downloading is still too lenient.
© 2005 Japan Economic News
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