Thursday, February 24, 2011

CPS says copyright violations 'civil, not criminal'

It came a little late in the process, but the Crown Prosecution Service have dropped a case against two men accused of running a film 'piracy' website in Bristol. The Telegraph says:

The Crown Prosecution Service told Bristol Crown Court today it would not proceed with the trial following legal advice that the alleged copyright infringements were a civil rather than a criminal matter, a spokeswoman for Avon and Somerset Police said. Not guilty verdicts were recorded.
It appears the CPS had not really bothered to do much research into the case, relying instead on "facts" given to them by FACT, the Federation Against Copyright "Theft"; when they eventually looked closely they realised that criminal action was "neither necessary nor appropriate."

No word yet on how much public money has been wasted on a case designed to protect a few private interests; hopefully, though, this will be the last case of its sort.