Denmark: File-sharing offender sentenced to probation and fine, following a proven anti-piracy model

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Rights AllianceAccording to Denmark’s National Unit for Special Crime (NSK), the offender shared at least 242 Danish and foreign copyrighted works on the two now closed file sharing services “Superbits” and “NorTor,” from December 2020 to February 2021.

He also was convicted of having downloaded 676 and uploaded 356 copyright-protected works via another file-sharing service in a period from March 2021 until March 2023.  The operator of Superbits and two other Nordic file sharing services was convicted of selling server capacity and seedboxes – which had hosted more than 3,800 copyright-protected works for illegal file sharing – earlier in 2023.

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Like the operator of Superbits, the offender sentenced here in September 2023 was given a 60-day suspended sentence and was fined DKK10,000 by the Court in Randers (equivalent to about US$1,400) – although both the fine and the suspended sentence were higher in the earlier case.  This offender also entered into a settlement to pay a separate DKK10,000 to the affected rights-holders.  The treatment of this case followed a model established in the 2021 DanishBits illegal file-sharing case.

Copyrighted works and intertwined offences

The convicted 37-year-old Jutland man copied, shared and downloaded copyrighted works, including films, series, talk shows, sports recordings, stand-up comedy, music, etc., on several Danish and Nordic file sharing services.  He had made a name for himself by using a common profile name on various file-sharing services.

The Rights Alliance said that he was one of the established users who continued his activities on the new services that arose after the shutdowns of DanishBits and NordicBits at the end of 2020. On the services SuperBits and NorTor he had shared a large number of works, while on the file sharing service DanishBytes he both downloaded and shared works in large numbers.

In Denmark, a number of illegal file-sharing operators have been convicted of copyright infringements, including six out of seven backers behind the file-sharing service Asgaard. According to the Rights Alliance, another central figure in the ShareUniversity file-sharing case will go to court on September 28.

Further reading

Inveterate user of file-sharing services convicted of copyright infringement. Article. September 13, 2023. Danish Rights Alliance (Rettighedsalliancen). Auto-translated from Danish to English by Google Translate.

Østjyde receives a prison sentence and a fine for illegal file sharing. News release. September 13, 2023. National Unit for Special Crime (NSK, National enhed for Særlig Kriminalitet). Auto-translated from Danish to English by Google Translate.

Denmark: Sentence and fine for seller of seedboxes that enabled illegal sharing.  Article. February 28, 2023. by Steven Hawley, Piracy Monitor.

Users of illegal services are now held accountable. Article. March 24, 2021. Danish Rights Alliance (Rettighedsalliancen). Auto-translated from Danish to English by Google Translate.

Why it matters

The verdict sends a clear signal to all file sharers that illegally sharing movies, music and other copyrighted material can have serious consequences,” said NSK Special Prosecutor Jan Østergaard.

“With today’s ruling, a bigger picture emerges that the courts are taking a hard look at users of file sharing services,” said Rights Alliance Director Maria Fredenslund. “High penalties have a preventive effect on illegal file sharing, and therefore we are pleased that the case can make a positive contribution to protecting content in the future,” she said.

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