14th August 2012 16:16
SurfChannel: 4 years in jail for running a website?
Loz Kaye made the following comment on reports that Anton Vickers, the owner of TV streaming links site SurfTheChannel has been sentenced to four years imprisonment today at Newcastle Crown Court:
"The way this issue was investigated, prosecuted and the resulting sentence are, deeply concerning, inappropriate and disproportionate given the activities that Anton Vickerman was engaged in. A four year prison sentence is twice the maximum that could have been handed down if Vickers had been charged with online copyright infringement."
“As we have said before, this was not a case brought using copyright law. The interest groups involved couldn't present a case of copyright infringement and decided to press for the use of the common law offence of “conspiracy to defraud”. This offence is incredibly controversial in English law as it criminalises conduct by two or more parties that would not be criminal when performed by an individual.”
“In addition to coming to a conclusion that is out of line with findings in similar cases, this prosecution appears to have been driven by private interests. It has been reported that the very groups representing the victim helped with the investigation, were present at the arrest, present at police interviews and given access to the evidence. It has also been reported that unorthodox and intrusive measures were used during the investigation and a worrying amount of pressure was reportedly put on overseas witnesses.”
Pirate Party UK
+44 (0) 161 987 7880