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Software pirate ordered to make a viral video to avoid paying a major fine

The Czech Republic courts said it won’t force the man to pay around €350,000 in damages if his anti-piracy video gets 200,000 views on YouTube.

Image: MojePiratstvi cz/YouTube

A SERIAL SOFTWARE PIRATE has been forced to make a YouTube video explaining his actions in order to avoid paying out a huge sum to companies that are claiming damages from him.

Torrent Freak reports that an individual known only as Jakub F was found to have pirated software including Microsoft Windows over many years, and was eventually arrested by police.

Large technology companies accused the man of causing them around $373,000 (€351,000) worth of damages.

But the Czech Republic’s courts didn’t force Jakub F to pay out damages to the technology companies. Instead, it has come up with an unusual idea: Jakub F stars in a new anti-piracy ad, and the courts will not force him to pay damages if the video gets 200,000 views on YouTube.

Jakub F has already been found guilty and he was given a three-year suspended sentence. If the video goes viral and gets 200,000 views, then he just has to deal with the suspended sentence.

It might sound like a typical Facebook hoax where a person claims that if they get a certain number of likes, something great will happen, but this time it’s a genuine part of the legal process.

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The video currently has just over 115,000 views on YouTube, short of the 200,000 target. Jakub F has set up a website to promote the video, and on the site he explains his actions (translation via Torrent Freak):

I had to start this site because for eight years I spread pirated software and then they caught me. I thought that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I thought that it didn’t hurt the big companies. I didn’t even do it for the money, I did it for fun.

Source: MojePiratstvi cz/YouTube

- James Cook

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