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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    Shadow Dragon (profile), Nov 21st, 2012 @ 5:57pm

    hmmm

    I wonder how long it take for average_bob_out_of_mind to appear with their stupid posts that company's that pay them to post their shit.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2012 @ 5:59pm

    Corrupt abusive judge

    John Evans is a corrupt pedophile judge.

    I know for a fact that he is a child abuser and drug addict.

    I say this in order to destroy his reputation.
    Impeach the pedophile judge.

     

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2012 @ 6:41pm

    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!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2YZws9xYEQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnFvYggbw-8& feature=relmfu
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpfMW-rVBsQ&feature=relmfu

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2012 @ 6:50pm

      Re: Hollywood: An Empire Of Their Own

      Trololo

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2012 @ 5:01am

      Re: Hollywood: An Empire Of Their Own

      There is a problem.

      If you expose the truth about jews you are called anti-semitist.

      The same goes for Israel.

      It's all connected but brainwashed people can't see it.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2012 @ 8:56am

        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..

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2012 @ 8:42am

      Re: Hollywood: An Empire Of Their Own

      saying you are a jew then denagrating jews, means you are not really wehat you say you are..

      and who cares if they own hollywood or not!!!..

      only someone who wants to blame religion or race on 'their' problems.. idiot..

       

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    A News User, Nov 21st, 2012 @ 6:51pm

    Anyone Listening?

    In there no one else who finds this just the least bit disturbing? The judge should be made to trade places with Vickerman, and the plaintiff shut down and themselves imprisoned. I'm seeing far too much of this kind of activity in recent years.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2012 @ 7:15pm

      Re: Anyone Listening?

      It's not just a little disturbing.
      The guy has been found guilty of conspiracy to commit a legal act, that disturbs most people.

       

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        ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 21st, 2012 @ 7:40pm

        Re: Re: Anyone Listening?

        Makes sense to me. Stopping people from repeating what they've heard is the whole point of copyright. You can't let them make a mockery out of it by doing the very same thing.

         

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        Bergman (profile), Nov 21st, 2012 @ 10:31pm

        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.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2012 @ 8:44am

          Re: Re: Re: Anyone Listening?

          comtempt of court is a crime.. plus he was found guilty of a crime seperate from that.

          he's also stupid, if you are going to be arrogant, dont do it at your court hearing..

          must have an IQ of 7

           

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            Sheogorath (profile), Jan 13th, 2013 @ 3:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Anyone Listening?

            Actually, Anton Vickerman was found guilty of a civil offence he didn't commit, not a crime, so if the person you were addressing has an IQ of seven, I'd hate to think what yours is!

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 1:00pm

        Re: Re: Anyone Listening?

        Especially since it is always being repeated in the media that there is a strong link with child abuse because they both use the internet.

         

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      Hearno Evil, Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 10:15am

      Re: Anyone Listening?

      No! No one is listening. Psychopaths with $ have rigged the system.

       

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    Erich Friesen, Nov 21st, 2012 @ 7:15pm

    Grave injustice, we need more to speak out about this.

     

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    RadialSkid (profile), Nov 21st, 2012 @ 7:58pm

    "Arrogance" is an unwarranted sense of superiority. Vickerman's sense of superiority over the court isn't unwarranted...In this case, it's merely a recognition of fact.

     

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      Bergman (profile), Nov 21st, 2012 @ 10:32pm

      Re:

      People who are innocent don't feel remorse for the crime they are accused of. This does not mean they should be sentenced to heavier punishments than someone who is guilty but remorseful.

       

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        Rekrul, Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 6:25am

        Re: Re:

        People who are innocent don't feel remorse for the crime they are accused of.

        In the eyes of most courts and prosecutors, nobody is innocent. They're all seen as guilty. When someone is found not guilty, they see it as a miss-carriage of 'justice'.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2012 @ 7:02pm

          Re: Re: Re:

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

           

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            Rekrul, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 9:50pm

            Re: Re: Re: 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.

             

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        RadialSkid (profile), Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 6:19pm

        Re: Re:

        I think you may have misread my comment...It was in favor of Vickerman. I apologize if my phrasing was a bit awkward.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2012 @ 10:58pm

    I remember reading Vickermans blog about the case.
    It made me feel like shit, poor guy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 12:39am

    Wow, I didn't know you could do a criminal case without law enforcement.

     

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    nospacesorspecialcharacters (profile), Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 1:44am

    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.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 5:20am

    this judge needs to be brought before the bar for taking a totally bias approach rather than one that was based on law. hie whole attitude to this case stinks of bribery by FACT and i'm damned if i can see how this could ever have been tried as a 'criminal' case

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 5:49am

    The judge gave him an extra month for providing links to the documents... That are published elsewhere on the web! He didn't publish the documents, he simply provided the links! This judge is a loonie!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 6:00am

    Screw the UK! Another loser country.

     

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    The Real Michael, Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 6:26am

    What I would say

    "Your honor, as you are bought and paid-for by Hollywood, any judgement you hand down is tainted with bias and, therefore, a miscarriage of the law. I hold you in contempt of court for accepting corporate bribes and for disregarding my rights. I am walking out of this monkey court."

     

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    FuzzyDuck, Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 6:40am

    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.

     

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    Kevin (profile), Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 7:30am

    Find Wally

    It seems harder to find a fair Judge than finding Wally. All Judges garments should come with no pockets

     

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    Chris in Utah (profile), Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 9:16am

    Chip in

    Anybody want to start a chip in for this guys appeal process?

     

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    John Pettitt (profile), Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 10:12am

    The judge is, im my option, an idiot

    Hopefully on appeal this will get reversed and the judge will get suitably reprimanded. I do find myself mentally speculating what motivated the judge to be so intemperate. I'll leave the actual reasoning to your imagination because imagining judicial corruption isn't illegal yet.

     

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    Till Mechanic (profile), Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 10:45am

    Let's off youths stealing bus

     

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      Agp, Mar 23rd, 2014 @ 11:40am

      Re: Let's off youths stealing bus

      How can the sentence run concurrent when it was to separate criminal acts! Stealing a bus and in a separate incident molestation and assault...
      Definitely something going with the brain cells of the judge!

       

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    ricebowl (profile), Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 11:21am

    How does one make a formal complaint against a judge in the UK

    As a citizen of the United Kingdom I'm actually horrified at the attitude of the judge; does anyone know how one files a formal complaint against a judge for their behaviour, arrogance and, frankly, unwarranted increase of a prison sentence?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 12:58pm

    It would be nice if you would do a more in-depth piece. What was in the documents? Your analysis would be interesting. Why were they to be kept secret? Is there any validity to that requirement? The details would make the case a better one. Can you link to the documents?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 1:12pm

      Re:

      To be precise: we can read more information in the links but it would be nice to see it presented and analyzed on techdirt.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2012 @ 4:57am

    How can a judge call the defender "arrogant" for defending himself?!

    Judges are puppets of paymasters.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2012 @ 8:52am

    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.

     

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    nasch (profile), Nov 24th, 2012 @ 1:31pm

    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.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2012 @ 9:51pm

    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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