Business News Digital Legal

Suspended sentence for Italian file-sharing operator, and his mum and dad

By | Published on Monday 30 June 2014


Proving again that Italy is becoming one of the more prolific countries in the battle against illegal file-sharing, an Italian man behind a now defunct file-sharing operation that used the domains and has been handed a 22 month suspended jail sentence for this role in running the copyright infringing business. Not only that, but his parents also received suspended sentences for receiving the operation’s ad revenue into their bank account.

According to Torrentfreak, authorities in Italy seized the two domains back in 2012 following complaints from copyright owners, and also ordered internet service providers to block the service’s IP addresses and took control of bank accounts receiving ad revenues from the file-sharing operation. Two years on the criminal case against the sites’ operator reached its conclusion with the suspended sentence.

His parents received ten month suspended sentences too for money laundering charges, them having allowed their son’s revenues from the illegal operation to pass through their bank account. Enzo Mazza of local music industry group FIMI confirmed to Torrentfreak: “The parents, who owned the bank account where the money from ads was allocated, were sentenced for money laundering”.

Mazza welcomed last week’s ruling, which won’t result in actual jail time for the accused, but, reckons the record industry rep, sends out a sufficiently stern message about the consequences of profiting from copyright infringement. He added: “It’s a very good decision. Our anti-piracy team FPM assisted during the case and we are really satisfied with the decision which has shown clear evidence of the link between piracy and the collection of money through advertisements”.

As previously reported, while the record industry didn’t always find Italian law all that helpful in the early days of the battle against file-sharing, in recent years various initiatives in the country have resulted in a crack-down. The country’s telecoms regulator has also been given direct web-blocking powers, while the local advertising industry recently committed to do more to cut off ad income from piracy set-ups.