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Film file-sharer sent to prison

A Hong Kong man has been jailed for three months for film piracy after he shared movie files over the internet. The authorities say he is the first person in the world to be prosecuted for passing on files using a popular file-sharing program called BitTorrent. It makes the sharing of material easy by breaking a file up into fragments and then distributing them. The film industry says it hopes the sentence handed down to Chan Nai-ming will prove a deterrent to others.

Chan, an unemployed man who called himself "Big Crook", was arrested in January for uploading three Hollywood movies - Daredevil, Red Planet and Miss Congeniality - onto the internet without a licence. He was using a popular file-sharing program called BitTorrent, which allows users to download content from multiple sources. Each source supplies a small part of the whole film or song. When anyone downloads a file it becomes a source for others, making it easy to share or trade music or movies, but very hard to trace who has uploaded or downloaded the material. The Motion Pictures Association of America says its members lose $900m dollars in potential revenue to piracy each year in Asia alone.

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News source: BBC News

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