Anti-piracy group FACT played a major role in Philip Danks' arrest.
A 25 year old man, Philip Danks, has been sentenced to 33 months in prison on movie piracy charges after distributing Fast and Furious 6 via torrent sites and Facebook. His sister's boyfriend, Michael Bell, charged with aiding distribution, was sentenced to a community order for 120 hours unpaid work. British trade organization Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), in an official statement, hailed this as "an important case and an important sentence."
Danks filmed the movie on the first day of its release in cinema with a camcorder, and had to go back for a second attempt when the battery on his first camcorder died. He then offered physical copies for sale on Facebook at £1.50 each, as well as a torrent feed. His torrent was downloaded more than 700,000 times, FACT alleges, and Danks continued to copy and sell movies even after his arrest.
According to the judge, it was the physical copy sale, as well as the fact that Danks recorded it himself on the very first day of theatrical release, that earned him the 33 month prison term. "Seven billion people and I was the first. F*** you Universal Pictures," Danks is supposed to have posted on Facebook.
All told, Danks is alleged to have made about £1,000 from his activity. According to FACT, Danks' piracy cost Universal "millions of pounds of loss," though the actual amount is unknown and probably unquantifiable.
Danks was tracked down because he used the same handle for his torrent, TheCod3r, as he did on dating site Plenty of Fish. In a statement to TorrentFreak, Danks alleged that FACT played a central role in his arrest.
"I was detained for 3 hours 12 minutes, out of that I was questioned for approximately 40 minutes," said Danks on the occasion of his first detention in May. The police would later return and arrest him and Bell in September. "One police officer and two FACT officers conducted the interview. The police officer sat back and let FACT do all the questioning, so FACT were running the show."
Source: Ars Technica