Belgian Anti-Piracy Group Facing Copyright Fraud, Embezzlement & Money Laundering Charges

from the funny-how-that-works dept

The Belgian anti-piracy group, SABAM, has been one of the most aggressive anti-piracy groups out there. The group recently lost two huge court cases in which it tried to get courts to force ISPs and hosting firms to put in place filters to stop infringement. Perhaps more controversially, the organization has tried to require social networks to pay a flat fee for all the infringement happening on their networks. A year ago, there was a story of SABAM taking cash for a band they didn’t represent after a TV show played a “joke” on the group.

However, in what appears not to be a joke, it looks like SABAM and some of its execs are facing some pretty serious charges, including “falsifying accounts to cover up bribe payments, abuse of trust, copyright fraud and embezzlement,” according to TorrentFreak. Apparently, according to the charges, SABAM wasn’t very good at actually distributing the money it was supposed to distribute to artists. Things to keep in mind every time one of these groups insists it’s looking out for the interests of artists…

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Companies: sabam

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Comments on “Belgian Anti-Piracy Group Facing Copyright Fraud, Embezzlement & Money Laundering Charges”

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Loki says:

it looks like SABAM and some of its execs are facing some pretty serious charges, including “falsifying accounts to cover up bribe payments, abuse of trust, copyright fraud and embezzlement,

In other words, they were so blatant in their actions that they may end up being legally liable for what some of us have been saying they were guilty of for years.

Now if we could just get some of them actually thrown in jail.

Nathan F (profile) says:


Worse. They will just tell the judge how “Deeply ashamed they are.” How they express “The utmost remorse for their actions.” and that “They will take this opportunity to reflect on their actions and learn from their mistake.”

Then, unless one of them has a previous record of misconduct the judge will give them a slap on the wrist sentence and tell them not to do it again. Which will of course be ignored, only this time they will be more secretive about it.

Anonymous Coward says:


Oh, you know they avoid articles like this one. Ditto the Kenny Rogers’ one.

In the ones where the labels are clearly the bad guys and most definitely in the wrong, they never put in appearance. Every other article though, you can bet they’ll be in. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds, but when caught red handed, they’ll shut up. But only then.

Sneeje (profile) says:

Look. Learn. Listen.

Completely agree with the sentiments, but I bet organizations like these don’t have shareholders. Would be interesting to confirm–I looked at the site and it lists itself as a “private collective management society”.

So, I guess it is actually worse–they represent the interests of the leaders of the organization and no one else.

vastrightwing (profile) says:

I can hear the defense now

Your honor, I know this was bad. We are so ashamed of our actions and we ended up hurting the very clients we were supposed to protect. I can?t tell how regetful we are as an industry. In fact, we have a plan that will ensure we can?t do this again and we will pay our clients the money they deserve. Unfortunately we can?t publically disclose this arrangement so we?ll have to seal this forever or 100 years. The story ends by the industry yelling to all those far and wide that they are being punished by paying a huge one time (undisclosed) fine and all the artists will be made whole. No one will know what the payment was and no one will know who got what because this is all confidential of course. You never hear much from the defendants until they do it again many years later.

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