Denmark: Two sentences in two weeks – a ‘serial infringer’ and a ‘mastermind’

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Rights AllianceThe Danish Rights Alliance announced two sentences in piracy-related cases during November.  One was for one of six ‘masterminds’ arrested for operating DanishBytes, an illegal file sharing service.  The second sentence was for an individual DanishBytes user who also uploaded content to that illegal service.

In November 2021, after being notified by the Danish Rights Alliance, Denmark’s Special Crimes Unit (The Section for Legal Protection), initiated actions at a number of addresses in Jutland, where they succeeded in arresting six people connected to the Danish file-sharing environment.

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Working as ‘staff,’ during a 2-month period, the six provided, among other things, IT support for the service’s no less than 5,000 users to engage in the illegal file sharing, which included no less than 10,000 illegal copies of protected works.

DanishBytes mastermind sentenced

On November 14th, a 34-year-old man from Aalborg was sentenced to 3 months’ probation and 80 hours of community service for having participated in the operation of the illegal file sharing service DanishBytes.  His computer equipment was also confiscated.

In addition to participating in the DanishBytes service, the man was also convicted is complicity in hacking other people’s e-mails and passwords. The convicted man obtained access to at least 1,000 combinations of e-mails and passwords, both by hacking into computer systems himself, and also by purchasing hacked access information from others and downloading files from websites where other hackers have published lists of hacked credentials. He then used the credentials to gain access to paid services, including TV 2 PLAY and Netflix, to illegally download copyrighted works, then uploaded them to DanishBytes.

Read the Rights Alliance press release: Mastermind sentenced for being behind file sharing service and misuse of access information for TV 2 Play.  November 14, 2022. (Auto-translated from Danish to English via Google Translate)

Individual user sentenced
In a separate action on November 25, a verdict was handed down against a user of Danish file sharing services.  A 28-year-old man from Central Jutland was convicted for having downloaded no less than 100TB in the period from January 2021 to November 2021.  More than 3000 copyright protected works, including films, series, TV content, music and books, including comics and audiobooks, were from the illegal file sharing service DanishBytes. In addition, he was convicted of having uploaded 20TB of illegal content to the same illegal service, which during the period had 4,000 users.

The individual from Central Jutland received a 60-day suspended sentence and must perform 80 hours of community service.  His desktop PC was confiscated.  The Danish Rights Alliance was awarded DKK 5,000, to be paid by the offender.

Illegal service also required users to share

It was a requirement for users of the illegal file sharing services that they must share illegal content themselves.  The Danish content uploaded by the convicted person not only consisted of new film titles, older Danish films and series, as well as current Danish TV content from both TV 2 and Viaplay.

Read NSK’s entire press release here:28-year-old sentenced for file sharing, November 25, 2022 (Auto-translated from Danish to English via Google Translate)

The case against the 28-year-old man is the second case this year against a serial infringer, who is characterized by not being a mastermind behind an illegal file-sharing service, but rather a user who systematically and extensively uses these services for both illegal downloading and sharing of copyrighted works; showing that individuals can also be held liable.

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