South African Internet pirate appears in court

The Pirate Bay

A Cape Town man, one Mr Norton from the Cape Flats, appeared in the Athlone court on the morning of Friday, 13 December 2013, for allegedly uploading a high-profile South African film to a torrent site.

That’s the word from the CEO of the Southern African Federation Against Copyright Theft (Safact), Corné Guldenpfennig.

Guldenpfennig said that the suspect was granted bail of R1,000, and the case was transferred to the Cape Town Commercial Crime Court, where it is scheduled to begin on 11 February 2014.

Although she was not able to reveal the name of the film, Guldenpfennig previously told MyBroadband that the movie was distributed via The Pirate Bay.

When asked about the significance of the case, Guldenpfennig said that it is a first for South Africa and that they made extremely certain of all the rights issues around this situation.

“You have to be extremely careful before making a first example,” she said.

Guldenpfennig said that they will bring charges against the person arrested in terms of the Counterfeit Goods Act and article 27 of the Copyright Act. Safact is investigating other charges, Guldenpfennig said.

Article courtesy of MyBroadband

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Forum discussion

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  • VirtualForce

    I know the dewd did wrong, but its probably someone that cant afford the highly paid lawyers Safact can and will get railed without remorse as an example.

  • Vorastra

    If I download a pirated movie off of Yify or wherever, it’s because I wasn’t going to pay for it either way.

    Prove to me in court what damages I’ve incurred on the media company. You can’t lose what you were never going to get from me.

    However this guy uploaded content…now that’s a different story because now you are causing damages. So they do have grounds here to be honest.

  • B4d R0b0t

    Yea nice one, they saw Cape Flats IP and thought, this guy will not be able to hire a good advocate. Shitheads trying to justify a redundant business model.

  • SojournZA

    But if you download off torrents, are you not uploading data as well?

  • Vorastra

    Ofcourse you are but without the file being available from the initial person (the guy in court) then there would be nothing to upload.

    However people who sit on a torrent with the sole purpose of seeding and getting out to as many people as possible are also partially to blame.

    Think of drugs. Police arrest people who buy drugs, ok fine. But that isn’t the problem is it? You should be attacking the means in which drugs arrive in the country (or originate within a country). Then we get the drug distributors, people on the streets who make it their goal to sell it to as many as possible, they are also partially to blame but they aren’t he sole reason for the problem.

    Now the person who buys drugs and then gives it out to his friends when he parties would be you and me, who download from a torrent but also partially distribute but not with the intention of getting it to as many as possible.

    *I’ve just realised that my metaphor implies we shut down the internet…crap…*

  • Warchylde

    We need a good lawyer to come pro bono the snot out of them

  • VirtualForce

    I get what say, but without the guy uploading, you wouldn’t be able to download. Reminds me off that afrikaans thing “Die deler is so goed soos die steler.” meaning, the guy doing the stealing is just as guilty as the guy who profits or uses the stolen items.
    BUT, I agree, make movies and series more easily accessible and I bet piracy will take a nose dive….obviously there are those out there that wont pay 5cents for anything.

  • VirtualForce

    *I’ve just realised that my metaphor implies we shut down the internet…crap…*

    hhehe, its Friday, I understand.

  • screw you

    Yeah.. i second that

  • PsiCoRe

    Digital distribution on video and music, especially in South Africa is extremely restrictive and many South Africans are forced to buy a physical copy. I guarantee that this South African movie is not available for purchase and download by South African consumers. Current distribution models are not environmentally or user friendly. Not to mention that copyright laws protect the distributors and the publishers, not the artist or the consumer. Copyright holders cannot hold pirates accountable if they insist on punishing legitimate owners through DRM, advertising and piracy warnings while pirates offer ‘services’ that are easier to use and more convenient. Terms of use are overly convoluted and restrictive. Why should a paying user be limited by device types, buffering, legal warnings and terms of use while pirates get all the inconveniences removed and able to receive their ‘product’ at the click of a button? If publishers want to eliminate piracy they need to offer a better experience. Until these laws are changed I cannot support copyright holders. As it currently stands it allows them to bully anyone that doesn’t adhere to their policies and demands.

  • Vorastra

    I agree completely. I specifically said that this is a distribution problem (as you also said). Address that first then you can go after the uploaders.

  • Irma

    Then those people would not have paid anyway. So once again we’re back to the truth that there are no demonstrable losses to producers.

  • Irma

    We should legalise. There is no-one at any level that can be arrested that will genuinely impede supply. You can pour resources into it and you’ll get nowhere.

    We should reform copyright. Reduce the term to a few years, wipe out current agreements that restrict access and crack down those that create artificial scarcity. Like drugs there is no enforcement that can put a stop to copyright infringement. The material needs to be made widely, easily and relatively cheaply available.

  • Irma

    So what is the film? Somebody please find out, so we can let its makers know we don’t approve of SAFACT’s actions.

  • hairyback

    agree. When I heard that netflix is R70 a month for full access and hulu R40, I stopped feeling sorry for content providers. Why should we pay 10x as much for inferior content on DSTV. Give us those kinds of prices and half the country will stop pirating tomorrow. Case in point, since I discovered steam sales I have bought over 150 games and haven’t pirated a single one.

  • Khutšo matau

    its probably FOUR CORNERS…

  • Theo Lubbe

    “If I download it it’s because I wans’t going to pay for it anyway”, and yet you still make a point of obtaining and consuming it.