SurfTheChannel Founder Gets Extra Jail Time For Revealing Documents That Raised Questions About His Conviction

from the thou-dost-protest-too-much? dept

You may recall that, earlier this year, we wrote about a very troubling ruling in the UK against the founder of SurfTheChannel, Anton Vickerman. STC was a linking site, no different than others that had been found perfectly legal in the UK. After the conviction, which resulted in Vickerman being put in jail for four years, some additional info came out that was really horrifying. First, there was the fact that this criminal case, including the investigation, was driven entirely by a private anti-piracy organization, FACT, which is financed by the Hollywood studios. Yes, a criminal case that was run by private interests. Actual law enforcement had refused to proceed with the case, saying that there wasn’t evidence of direct infringement. Furthermore, some “anonymous” notes from the court room suggested a judge was on a mission to put Vickerman away.

Now comes the news that Vickerman has been hit with contempt of court and given an extra month in jail all for releasing some of the documents that revealed what a farce the case was. Once again, the judge seems focused on punishing Vickerman for his attitude, rather than any real problem:

Vickerman, 38, apologised to Judge John Evans, who had previously branded him the “most arrogant” defendant he had ever come across.

Vickerman, from Gateshead, said: “I genuinely believed that this was in the public domain, so I apologise for that.”

The judge jailed Vickerman for an extra month for the contempt, saying: “You were aware that there were restrictions upon what you could publish.

That whole “most arrogant” part is really troubling. If you were genuinely innocent and being railroaded in a criminal case by private money (the same money that financed a competitor to your site), I think you’d be pretty pissed off too.

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Companies: fact, surfthechannel

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Comments on “SurfTheChannel Founder Gets Extra Jail Time For Revealing Documents That Raised Questions About His Conviction”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Hollywood: An Empire Of Their Own

The next time you hear the Jews (I’m a Jew!) say that they don’t own Hollywood, listen to them brag about it in their own video! They can’t have it both ways!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Hollywood: An Empire Of Their Own

it’s the blame one religion, or race that is the problem.. is what is YOUR PROBLEM.. you just can’t get past it..

you might want to try a bit of ethnic cleansing..

im sure christians own alot of things as well.. !!!!!

and them hindu’s !!!!! and dont get me started on those buddists..

Bergman (profile) says:

Re: Re: Anyone Listening?

So, what’s the legal penalty for being convicted of not committing any crimes at all?

Realistically, such a conviction should result in being sentenced to acquittal.

The problem is when that the judge applied a jail sentence despite not actually convicting the accused of committing any crimes.

Rekrul says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Because everyone knows that O.J. really didn’t kill his wife and Michael Jackson really didn’t molest those boys.

Yes, sometimes the guilty do get off, but prosecutors believe that everyone is guilty and go after them with a vengeance. I wish I could remember the case, but several years ago, there was a child abduction case where it was eventually discovered that a friend of the family had taken the child. If I remember correctly, the child was eventually found alive and well and the person caught. However, the police and the DA spent something like two years going after the child’s uncle to the exclusion of all else. They ignored evidence that pointed to the kidnapper being someone else and basically made this guy’s life a living hell. When they eventually caught the other guy, it became clear that the uncle had absolutely no involvement in the kidnapping whatsoever.

I personally know a woman who was bullied by the DA into taking a plea bargain for something that wasn’t her fault. She was threatened with even more charges if she didn’t sign a confession and accept the deal. Unfortunately she had bad legal advice and was scared.

nospacesorspecialcharacters (profile) says:

Pure, farcical injustice

Let’s face it, he’s a political prisoner at this point.

What he should do is submit a DPA request to FACT giving them 28 days to produce all data stored about him on their systems or face their own lawsuit.

Then he could release that to the public (being his own data) and warn people about what data FACT is gathering on private individuals.

Also a FOIA request to the police with some pointed questions about the extent of the involvement of FACT and the Motion Picture Ass. of America in their investigation – and publish that.

It’s really despicable the way he’s being portrayed by the media – such as the BBC article linked above – as a criminal when at best this is a civil infringement (and even that is contentious).

It might even be worth an IPCC complaint depending upon what the FOIA request turned up.

FuzzyDuck says:

Horrible Judge

Sounds like judge John Evans is a horribly incompetent judge, since when is it illegal to be arrogant?

He should have judged the matter based on merit and not issue a ruling based on his personal feelings towards the defendant.

The word arrogant would be apt to describe a judge like that, as he clearly seems to think he is above everyone else.

Anonymous Coward says:

if the judge was an idiot, what would you call his defense lawyer ?? fuckwit ?? brain dead ??

it’s funny how when the law is applied, and it does not go “your way”.. you QQ all the way home.. it’s funny to watch..

“Oh we are SO RIGHT….oh wait,, no one else on the planet things so”..

fun to watch you go though..

why not make contact with him and send him care packages if you feel that strongly for him..

im sure Masnick will coordinate it for you..

oh wait, masnick does not “DO” and if there is no money it it for him he will do even less.

nasch (profile) says:

Arrogant or pissed off?

That whole “most arrogant” part is really troubling. If you were genuinely innocent and being railroaded in a criminal case by private money (the same money that financed a competitor to your site), I think you’d be pretty pissed off too.

Not to defend the judge or suggest arrogance is a crime or anything, but arrogance and anger are not at all the same thing.

Anonymous Coward says:

The people have decided repeatedly they do not want to know the truth, they want it hidden from them by the people they elect. The corruption of government and big business is a recurring theme and the power of the individual has been traded in for a promise of security and a sold out media that is at the beck and call of the world wide authority. We are sheeple to be controlled and manipulated to live and die in a politically correct controlled fashion by our all knowing, wiser masters. So sit down, shut up, do your time, pay your fees, and die in good order so that they can enjoy the life that you will never have an opportunity to obtain for yourself.

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