After all these years it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that the entertainment industry is very keen on protecting its content. But that protection goes beyond trying to prevent people from accessing the full content without paying, it's also willing to go after someone who makes cut down versions available. Case in point, a 63-year old man from Lancashire who was just given an eight month suspended sentence for making unlicensed karaoke tracks available online.
Steve Mather was arrested following a raid by the City of London's Intellectual Property Crime Unit, following a complaint by BPI regarding unlicensed karaoke tracks being uploaded online. After test downloads of eight pirate karaoke albums in February 2015, police carried out several raids the following December - one of which was targeting Mather.
Apparently Mather was part of Karaoke RG, a group dedicated to releasing karaoke tracks online. They claimed they were servicing the market by creating their own karaoke tracks that hadn't been made commercially available. As ever the rights holders didn't agree, and karaoke companies Digitop and Sunfly Karaoke claim the piracy has cost them £485,000 and £29,593 respectively.
Over two and a half years later the PIPCU has confirmed Mather pleaded guilty and received an eight-month suspended sentence for 'illegally creating and distributing karaoke tracks without permission.' PIPCU's Acting Detective Chief Inspector, Nick Court, said:
“By making these tracks available to the public, this not only impacts upon the businesses involved, but also upon those who work for them by putting jobs at risk and negatively impacting upon the progress of the company.
Mather has caused these companies to suffer significant financial losses. We take these crimes and the integrity of the UK creative industry very seriously. We put every effort into protecting their work.”
So there you have it. No matter how niche something is, there's always someone behind the scenes willing to protect the copyright and ensure their profit margins aren't eroded. [TorrentFreak]