News

R v Vickerman
27.6.2012

Anton Vickerman, who set up and ran one of the world's most visited pirate websites, surfthecahnnel, attracting more than 400,000 visitors per day generating advertising revenues of at least $50,000 per month, has been found guilty of Conspiracy to Defraud by "facilitating" the infringement of copyright at Newcastle Crown Court today.

His wife, Kelly Vickerman, aged 39, was found not guilty on the same charges.

At its peak www.surfthecahnnel.com was the 500th most visited website globally and provided access to more than 5,000 pirated films and TV programmes.

Member of the surfthechannel community were encouraged to find, check and add links, ensuring that surfthechannel was always one of the most up to date databases of pirated material anywhere on the internet.

Anton Vickerman, age 38, created surfthechannel. The website was controlled by Vickerman and run through a limited company, Scopelight Ltd, which funnelled profits to a bank account in Latvia.

Kieron Sharp, FACT Director General, said.

"These landmark criminal convictions proving that those operating pirate websites are not outside the law but can be tracked down and brought to justice. Mr Vickerman set up surfthechannel with the aim of being one of the world's top destinations for pirated films and TV programmes and was making at least £35,000 a month from the site alone.

"This was a criminal conspiracy for criminal profit to fund a criminal lifestyle and Vickerman is now paying the price."

Anton Vickerman designed the 'front end' of the website and via the internet recruited programmers who ran the 'back end' functions of the site. These programmers were tasked to break the scurity on the third party sites that hosted infringing copies of films. As a result surfthechannel developed a sophisticated and vast index of films and TV programmes with the majority obtained illegally by the third party sites. Vickerman did not have permissions from the producers/distributors of those films or TV programmes to show or distribute their content.

Lavinia Carey, Director General of the British Video Association said,

"Increasing numbers of British consumers are moving to legitimate online services the offer films and TV programmes in high quality for rental or sale. These businesses are relatively new and should not have to compete against pirate websites that do nothing reinvest in the production of new films and programmes. The verdict in this trial makes it evident to all that copyright theft will not be tolerated and that such sites are criminal operations."

David Groome & Ari Alibhai acted as prosecution counsel.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-18614670

David Groome | Ari Alibhai

News:

SELECT TOP(10) ChildSite.SitePageId, ChildSite.PageFolder, ChildSite.PageName, ChildSite.PageType, CFTitle.CustomInformationValue, CFDescript.CustomInformationValue, CFDate.CustomInformationValue, CFCat.CustomInformationValue, CaseDate = CASE WHEN Len(CFDate.CustomInformationValue) < 1 THEN null ELSE CAST(SUBSTRING(CFDate.CustomInformationValue,7,4) + '-' + SUBSTRING(CFDate.CustomInformationValue,4,2) + '-' + SUBSTRING(CFDate.CustomInformationValue,1,2)AS DATETIME) END FROM tblSitePage ParentSite INNER JOIN tblLinkPage LinkPage ON (ParentSite.SitePageId = LinkPage.pageID) INNER JOIN tblSitePage ChildSite ON (LinkPage.linkPageID = ChildSite.SitePageId) INNER JOIN tblCustomFieldInformation CFTitle ON ChildSite.SitePageId = CFTitle.SitePageId AND CFTitle.CustomFieldId = 1 INNER JOIN tblCustomFieldInformation CFDescript ON ChildSite.SitePageId = CFDescript.SitePageId AND CFDescript.CustomFieldId = 2 INNER JOIN tblCustomFieldInformation CFCat ON ChildSite.SitePageId = CFCat.SitePageId AND CFCat.CustomFieldId = 3 INNER JOIN tblCustomFieldInformation CFDate ON ChildSite.SitePageId = CFDate.SitePageId AND CFDate.CustomFieldId = 4 WHERE ParentSite.SitePageId =601 AND ParentSite.PageStatus Like 'Live' AND ParentSite.PageLevel = 4 AND ChildSite.PageStatus Like 'Live' AND ChildSite.PageLevel = 4 ORDER BY CaseDate DESC, ChildSite.PageOrder, ChildSite.PageName

QEB News: Racehorse owner Anthony Knott disqualified for 3 years
19.12.2014 More >

QEB News: Edward Brown prosecutes double murderer Roland McKoy
18.12.2014 More >

QEB News: Adrian Darbishire QC represents Soho Theatre Company in sentencing proceedings
15.12.2014 More >

QEB News: Mark Ellison QC represents construction company director on manslaughter by gross negligence charge relating to health and safety breaches during basement excavation
10.12.2014 More >

QEB News: Groome and Alibhai secure conviction in landmark prosecution on behalf of the Premier League
4.12.2014 More >

QEB News: Tom Baker acts as junior for the FCA in the prosecution of Alex Hope for £5m investment fraud and FSMA 2000 offences.
3.12.2014 More >

QEB News: Tom Kark QC commences death by dangerous driving trial
3.12.2014 More >

QEB News: Susannah Stevens defends contractor in fatality in the workplace, Heath and Safety prosecution
3.12.2014 More >

QEB News: Tom Kark QC and Ben Fitzgerald secure conviction in death at work case
2.12.2014 More >

QEB News: Roger Smart successfully prosecuted Ryan McGee, a serving soldier for making a nail bomb and possessing the Anarchist's Cookbook
1.12.2014 More >