IFPI Pressure Leads Police to Detain File-Sharing Students

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As part of its anti-piracy activities within 'Operation Premiere', Czech police raided a students dormitory in the Prague-Strahov area. As well confiscating many terabytes of pirate material, police detained seven students who they claim form part of Internet pirate network. They are facing 5 years in jail.

Prague Police

Following an investigation and pressure by the IFPI, Czech police carried out raids as part of ‘Operation Premiere’ – action against alleged P2P internet pirates.

According to a report and additional information from the Prague Municipal Police website, the raids were carried out on the Prague-Strahov dormitory which is usually inhabited by students from the Czech Technical University in Prague. The police seized a large amount of computer related equipment and tens of terabytes of pirated material – otherwise known as ‘warez’ – worth an estimated several millions of dollars.

The police detained seven individuals accused of copyright infringement with two of those being taken into custody.

The students, if found guilty, face up to five years in jail.

According to the Business Software Alliance Global Piracy Report 2006, legislation and criminal enforcement actions helped piracy rates drop in the Czech Republic from 40% in 2005 to 39% in 2006, which can hardly be considered a success when the rate was 40% back in 2003. In real terms, the situation is actually getting worse. Even though there is a percentage reduction, claimed losses are increasing due to the market growing in size each year. In 2003, an overall piracy rate of 40% ‘generated’ $106 million in losses, versus a 39% piracy rate in 2006 which ‘generated’ $147 million in losses.

The Czech Republic made piracy headlines worldwide back in July when a cam copy of The Simpsons Movie turned up on BitTorrent sites having been filmed at the movie’s Czech premiere. Again, a student is at the center of this controversy. The 19 year old man – who recorded the movie in a CineStar theater – is accused of copyright infringement and is facing the prospect of 5 years in jail and a $300,000 fine.


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