Back in June this year, the biggest operation aimed at online movie piracy took place in Europe. The target for police in Germany, Spain, France, and the Netherlands was movie-streaming portal Kino.to and its affiliates. More than a dozen people were arrested and slowly but surely they are now facing the courts.
Last week, 33-year-old web designer Marcus V. was handed 2.5 years in prison by a Leipzig court for his role in the site. Today we bring news of another sentencing.
The defendant, named as 27-year-old Martin S., confessed to being Kino.to’s “main admin”. He stood accused of being jointly responsible for 1.1 million instances of commercial copyright infringement that allegedly took place via the site.
Reportedly the brother-in-law of former Kino.to owner Dirk B., Martin S. was also said to run a file-hosting site that contained more than 16,700 movies used as a source by Kino.to’s index.
The trained car mechanic from Leipzig allegedly brought in nearly 400,000 euros via site advertising and what were described in court as “subscription traps”, services that suck unsuspecting users into expensive recurring payments for otherwise free products.
Once site costs had been taken into consideration, it was claimed that between August 2009 and the closure of Kino.to in June 2011, Martin S. made around 230,000 euros for himself .
In his ruling Judge Mathias Winderlich said that the defendant was primarily motivated by the possibility of making “quick and easy money” and that his income “exceeded by far that of the general population.”
The District Court in Leipzig found Martin S. guilty of criminal copyright infringement and sentenced him to 3 years in jail, four months less than the time demanded by the prosecution. According to Bild, the state also confiscated his house, Audi A6 and bank accounts. There will be no appeal.
At least 5 other Kino.to suspects remain in custody, and another 20 people remain under investigation. The trial of another site admin will be heard next week.