BitTorrent administrator sentenced to prison for copyright infringement and tax fraud

Author: Marjolein van der Heide - 06-06-2012

A former BitTorrent administrator from Sweden is sentenced to one year in prison after he is found guilty of copyright infringement and tax and accounting fraud. Through BitTorrent tracker PowerBits.org, which is no longer in use, the administrator helped to make at least 2,000 copyright protected works publicly available without permission of the rights holder. Besides, the administrator did not register donations of site users as income with the Swedish tax authorities. 

The defendant was responsible for the operation and administration of PowerBits between 2007 and 2009. PowerBits was a commercial file-sharing service that allowed users to upload torrent links to copyright protected material. Though the defendant did not make any of the works directly available himself, he assisted the users of PowerBits in their copyright infringements, according to the Court. 

PowerBits regularly received payments from users. Therefore, the Swedish tax authorities considered PowerBits an internet business that generates income. The defendant would have generated $207,000 from PowerBits, but omitted to declare this amount as income. He denied a request from the tax authorities to confiscate almost $54,000. As a consequence, the defendant is also found guilty of accounting and tax fraud, the Swedish Court ruled.

The former administrator of PowerBits is not the first Swede sentenced to prison for large-scale and commercial assistance to copyright infringement. The three founders of The Pirate Bay were sentenced to jail earlier.  

Read more about similar cases of copyright infringement on www.FutureOfCopyright.com: 

Source: TorrentFreak

By: Marjolein van der Heide

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