Dad Faces Massive Fine for Pirating Bambi, Lion King, and More

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A Belgian man risks a fine of 37,714 euros ($52,550) for sharing movies, music and games on a forum. The 39-year-old shared several Disney classics including Bambi, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians and The Lion King for his kids, and claims he saw no harm in his activities.

piracy-crimeThe Belgian Anti-Piracy Foundation (BAF) is demanding tens of thousands of euros from six men who shared copyrighted material on two local file-sharing sites.

The file-sharers all appeared in court this week. Among them is a 39-year old bus driver who pirated several Disney movies such as Bambi, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians and The Lion King. The man reportedly shared the films to entertain his three kids, and wasn’t aware of any wrongdoing.

“I did not think I did anything wrong, because many of these children’s films are available in full on YouTube,” he said in a comment.

The man’s actions weren’t limited to Disney classics alone though. According to the anti-piracy watchdog he was one of the most prolific sharers on the “Belgium-scene” forum.

In total, the father is accused of sharing 253 films, 64 computer games and 22,000 music files, for which BAF demands 37,714 euros ($52,550) in damages. The amount is based on the number of files that were shared, with a music track costing 1 euro and a movie 15 euros.

Another member of the same file-sharing forum shared even more files than the dad and he risks damages totaling 60,000 euros ($83,600). “I did it because it was cheaper than buying a CD or DVD,” the man said in a comment.

In addition to the damages demanded by BAF, the prosecutor has also requested an additional 4,500 euro fine for each of the six members.

Belgium-scene was a private forum where users could share links to a wide variety of pirated content. The site was closed last year and nine homes of people connected to the site and another forum were raided at the time.

Several of the founders avoided prosecution by paying settlements of between 10,000 and 25,000 euros. The pirating dad, however, lacked the funds to pay a settlement. His case and those of the five others will be decided by the court later this year.


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