Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Anton Vickerman given 4 years for conspiracy to defraud re; surfthechannel.com

In a private prosecution by FACT Anton Vickerman the founder and operator of the very successful Surfthechannel.com linking site (400,000 visitors per day / £35k revenue per month) has been given a 4 year sentence for conspiracy to defraud.

There are a few strange aspects to this case and hopefully the version of events provided by Anton Vickerman at www.surfthechannel.com is not correct as if it is it reveals a very rotten british judicial system.

In particular he claims that in summing up the Judge made this comment

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, it is your job to decide what the facts are and it is my job to tell you what the law is and I am telling you that the law is that linking to content knowing that it is infringing copyright is illegal". He then says "if I have got the law wrong then don´t worry ladies and gentlemen of the jury because a higher court than me will put that right". 

The very recent case of myvidster.com in the USA goes entirely the other way and this judgement puts Google in a very tricky position indeed if correct.

It would be interesting to understand exactly which parts of copyright law as it currently stands are clearly breached and since the CPS declined to prosecute on the basis of copyright infringement this does seem a pretty strange one.....................