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UK Software Uploader Fined in P2P Case
March 6, 2007
Thomas Mennecke
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A vast majority of copyright enforcement has taken place against those sharing music, a lesser yet still significant number against those sharing movies, and a very small number against those sharing software. With the exception of prosecuting top sites and BitTorrent tracker administrators, civil actions against those sharing software has been virtually non-existent. However, this appears to be changing.

In a rare copyright enforcement of its kind, an alleged United Kingdom uploader was fined in a summary judgment rendered against him. The case doesn't settle the legality or quality of evidence against the individual, as the accused simply did not respond to initial copyright notifications by an organization called FAST. FAST, or Federation Against Software Theft, is a UK-based outfit which could be considered the equivalent of the RIAA, except representing the rights of software manufacturers.

At issue was a software program valued at £35 ($65.00). Although FAST does not name the software in question, apparently it was worth enough to invest 10 months of investigative time to determine the identity of the alleged infringer.

The alleged infringer eventually did show up to a February 27 court hearing, and attested that he did not receive initial copyright violation notices by FAST. This didn't appear to impress the court, and he was ordered to pay £3,500 to cover FAST's damages and legal fees.

The network used to upload the infringing file was also not mentioned; however, it was likely either eDonkey2000 or BitTorrent. While FAST has cheered this as a victory over file-sharing, it's simply a victory over neglecting to respond to an initial copyright notification.

Update: Slyck spoke with FAST's public relations firm, who informed us that the individual in question used Kazaa (via the FastTrack network) to allegedly publish the software. However, they due to the request of the manufacturer, they would not reveal the name of the software.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Legal/Courtroom :: Individual Lawsuits

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