27th June 2012 17:50
SurfTheChannel 'Fraud' verdict
Loz Kaye commenting on reports that the owner of TV streaming links site SurfTheChannel has been found guilty of conspiracy to defraud at Newcastle Crown Court for "facilitating" copyright infringement said:
"This was not a case brought using copyright law. The interest groups involved couldn't present a case of copyright infringement and instead decided to press for the use of the common law offence of "conspiracy to defraud". This is one of the most controversial crimes in English law, it criminalises conduct by two or more people that would not be criminal when performed by an individual."
"The offence was notoriously used in the 1970s to prevent people sharing film cassettes as the TV and film industry believed video was a threat to their existence. That is until Hollywood realised they were better off embracing the new technology and producing their own cassettes."
"In addition to flying in the face of recent findings in similar cases, this prosecution was driven by private interests, it is well known that the very groups representing the victim helped with the investigation, were present at the arrest, given access to the evidence and were present at police interviews. This is deeply concerning. Add to that the unorthodox and intrusive measures reported to have been used during the investigation and the pressure put on overseas witnesses and it becomes deeply worrying."
Pirate Party UK
+44 (0) 161 987 7880