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Hong Kong man loses appeal in internet piracy case

Chan Nai-ming, a 38-year old Hong Kong man convicted of sharing pirated movies, has lost his final appeal in the territory's highest court and will now have to finish serving a three-month prison sentence. He used the screen name "Big Crook" and is believed to be the first person to receive jail time for distributing movie files using BitTorrent. Chan was originally charged in April 2005 for copyright infringement after uploading and distributing three Hollywood movies — Daredevil, Red Planet and Miss Congeniality. He was sentenced in November 2005 and had served several weeks in prison before filing a series of appeals.

Chan's lawyer argued before the Court of Final Appeal that he only uploaded the movies and did not distribute them, but the court dismissed the distinction: "He plainly succeeded in distributing copies of the films in question. The appeal must accordingly be dismissed." The Hong Kong government said Chan's conviction was a milestone in the fight against illegal online sharing of intellectual property and that since his arrest illegal file-sharing had fallen by 80%.

News source: CBC News

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