Belgian downloader protests against massive fine threat
15 September 2005, BRUSSELS – A Belgian man is awaiting sentencing after admitting copying 3,000 CDs, games and films on the internet during a five-year period.
15 September 2005
BRUSSELS – A Belgian man is awaiting sentencing after admitting copying 3,000 CDs, games and films on the internet during a five-year period.
The record and game companies have demanded he pay a EUR 25 fine per CD and a EUR 125 fine per film or game – a punishment which could see the 43-year-old downloader hit with a bill of 10s of 1000s of euros.
On Wednesday, Belgium's public prosecution asked the judge for a six-month suspended prison sentence and for the CDs to be destroyed.
"I don't know what I've done wrong since you can download everything on the internet," Jean-Philippe D told a court on Wednesday in Namur.
He pointed out that you can also download the wizards needed to copy music and films on the internet.
Lawyers for the defendant argued that he only copied the files for his personal use and not with the aim of selling them or defrauding the music and film companies.
He exchanged some of the files with his friends for other copies.
However, representatives for the rights of authors and the entertainment business are demanding compensation for lost profits.
The president of the court asked those civil parties in the case to provide an economic study to show the counterfeit market was swallowing up the legal market.
"The economic study will never be produced because it's clear that the problem is based in Hong Kong or in Madrid, not at Andenne at my client's house," said lawyer Gruslin.
The case was adjourned for sentencing on 12 October.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news