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Dancing Jesus file-sharer changes plea to guilty

By | Published on Thursday 16 October 2014


Both the men prosecuted for infringing copyright via one-time file-sharing forum Dancing Jesus have now pleaded guilty to illegally distributing music, according to record industry trade body the BPI, which instigated the private prosecution.

As previously reported, the UK-based site – where users shared links to unlicensed music content, including pre-release tracks – was taken offline in 2011 after US Homeland Security seized the server on which it was hosted. According to reports at the time, City Of London Police arrested both the site’s administrator and one of its most prolific uploaders, known as Trix, though it was the BPI’s private prosecution that took the matter to Newcastle Crown Court.

The site’s operator, Kane Robinson, had already pleaded guilty to copyright infringement before the trial began, while the second defendant, Richard Graham, who initially disputed the charges against him, changed his plea at the outset of the hearing, seemingly after seeing the evidence stacked up against him.

Commenting on the case, the boss of the BPI’s Copyright Protection Unit, David Wood, told reporters this morning: “This case is significant. The guilty verdict confirms that posting illegal online links to music is a criminal offence which economically harms musicians and the labels that support them. Pre-release piracy, in particular, robs musicians of artistic control, leaving them with no say in when and how their music – which has taken blood, sweat and tears to produce – is released”.

On the specifics of the investigation that led to the guilty pleas, Wood added: “In a first-of-its-kind operation, the collaboration of UK enforcement bodies and the US authorities shows that the protection of intellectual property is a global issue that can and will be dealt with across borders. I’d like to thank the City Of London Police, Leicestershire Police and the US Department of Homeland Security for their commitment to this investigation and professionalism shown throughout the case”.

Robinson and Graham will now be sentenced on 10 Nov.