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Old 30-01-14, 18:59   #1
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Thumbs Up Court Rules=No Prosecution for Pirate Uploade

Pirate Bay Uploader Can’t be Criminally Prosecuted

Posted: 30 Jan 2014

Two years ago Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN referred a local Pirate Bay user to the authorities, who launched a criminal case against the man.

The case in question was the first criminal proceeding against a BitTorrent uploader in the Netherlands, with the prosecutor accusing 23-year-old Stefan K of uploading 5,000 e-books.

While the man admitted to uploading the torrent, his lawyer argued that the public prosecutor had no right to go after his client because file-sharing lawsuits belong in civil court.

Current policy rules prescribe that copyright infringements should only be handled in a criminal court if the defendant is part of a criminal organization, or when the infringements are carried out as business activities.

A lower court ruled in favor of the uploader last year, but the prosecution decided to appeal. This week the appeal verdict was released, dismissing the case once again.

“It is not alleged or proven that the defendant endangered the health or safety of society. Nor does the record show that the aforementioned act was committed in the course of trade or business. The same applies to the involvement in criminal organizations or organized crime,” the court writes.

According to the court the prosecution had no grounds to go after the uploader, and violated due process by doing so.

“All things considered, the court finds that the prosecution – in the light of the criteria stated in the instructions for criminal enforcement – could not have reasonably come to the decision to prosecute, and that it violated principles of due process with its decision to prosecute the case.”

The case has now been ruled inadmissible, but the court noted that BREIN still has the option to sue the uploader in a civil proceeding.

The anti-piracy group is not happy with the appeal verdict. Even though the uploader has since removed the torrent file in question, BREIN believes that copyright holders have already suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.

“Even if each book cost just one sale, there would already be 50,000 euros in lost revenue. The real damage is a multiple of that because the books have been downloaded countless times,” BREIN director Tim Kuik says.

This is not the first setback for the Dutch Department of Justice in an online piracy case.

In 2010 the criminal proceeding against P2P index site ShareConnector was also dismissed. In this case the court ruled that the public prosecutor relied too much on evidence provided by BREIN, and failed to carry out a proper investigation of its own.
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