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: Sun crime reporter convicted in Operation Elveden trial – Zoe Johnson QC prosecutes
22.5.2015 More >

QEB News: Philip Stott appears for prosecution in conviction of kidnappers jailed for 63 years at Old Bailey
21.5.2015 More >

QEB News: Professor Sarah Creighton, Zoe Johnson QC and Sean Larkin QC speak at QEB Hollis Whiteman FGM seminar
6.5.2015 More >

QEB News: FCA Land-banking fraud prosecution commences
1.5.2015 More >

QEB News: Katherine Buckle warns that the ECJ decision in Anbouba raises significant concerns for those doing business in countries subject to sanctions
30.4.2015 More >

QEB News: Philip Evans and Tim Naylor represent the BHA in Anthony Knott’s appeal against ban
24.4.2015 More >

QEB News: Jason Mansell advises the Moorhouse Group Limited in FCA probe.
23.4.2015 More >

QEB News: Crispin Aylett QC and Jocelyn Ledward act for prosecution as honey-trap murder case defendants are convicted.
16.4.2015 More >

QEB News: Selva Ramasamy represents GP in High Court appeal
13.4.2015 More >

QEB News: Niall Dickson of the GMC speaks at Chambers dinner
20.3.2015 More >