Owner of Russian file-sharing site gets 2-year suspended sentence - report
MOSCOW, February 20 (RAPSI) – Anton Yelesin, the owner of the ironclub.tv file hosting website, was handed a two-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to “intentional large-scale violation of copyright law”, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported Thursday.
The sentence was handed down by a court in Tatarstan’s second largest city Naberezhnye Chelny, after Yelesin pleaded guilty.
Experts from the Russian Anti-Piracy Organization (RAPO), whose members include Disney Enterprises, Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount, Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros., Mosfilm, Mass Media System and Amedia, asked the resource owner to intervene in his illegal activity in the spring of 2013. Yelesin did not comply with the request, thus forcing RAPO to file a claim against him.
Investigators established that Yelesin uploaded movies at ironclub.tv, which were thereafter shared among website users with torrent software.
Initially, the case concerned 21 films including Titanic, The Fast and the Furious, the entire Die Hard series, City of Thieves, and Blood Diamond, as well as Soviet films Operation Y and Shurik's Other Adventures, and Courier. The rights holders assessed damages at 17.5 million rubles ($491,700). However, the verdict in this case only specified three films – Titanic, Operation Y, and The Hangover Part III. The court assessed damages at 2.1 million rubles ($59,000).
This is the first guilty verdict in a case of online copyright infringement, according to Kommersant.
The Timiryazevsky District Court in Moscow heard a similar case in 2013 involving interfilm.ru torrent tracker in which owners Andrei and Nadezhda Lopukhov received four year suspended sentences. The couple has filed an appeal against the sentence.
The anti-piracy law, which took effect on August 1, 2013 despite the protests of Internet companies, established the legal grounds and procedure for limiting access to websites that distribute movies and TV shows in violation of copyright laws. The law also specifies the rules for liability or for condoning information brokers (Internet and hosting providers).