Court Rejects Appeal of First BitTorrent Convict

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Chan Nai-ming, the first man ever convicted for using BitTorrent has lost his appeal. Chan was charged last year for copyright infringement for uploading the movies "Daredevil", "Miss Congeniality" and "Red Planet". He was eventually sentenced to three months in prison, but was released on bail pending appeal, which he now lost.

jailChan was arrested at his home on January 12, 2005, by a special anti-internet piracy team. One of the officers ran into Chan at one of the popular BitTorrent sites. The officer then downloaded three movies Chan (who ironically called himself “Big Crook”) was seeding, and tracked down his IP-address.

Initially the number of Hong Kong people using BitTorrent dropped over 80% after Chan was arrested in April 2005. One of the main reasons to uphold the the original ruling was this deterrent effect of the sentence, according to the judge.

The strange thing about the ruling is that High Court judge Clare-Marie Beeson believed that Chan did not share the copyrighted material with others on purpose. Despite this strange statement, Chan’s lawyer announced that there will be no further appeal, and Chan will sit out his three months. At least it’s not as bad as the seven year the “screener pirate” has to spend in jail in the U.S.

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