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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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  1. identicon
    vastrightwing, 21 Feb 2012 @ 1:49pm

    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 canít tell how regetful we are as an industry. In fact, we have a plan that will ensure we canít do this again and we will pay our clients the money they deserve. Unfortunately we canít publically disclose this arrangement so weíll 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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