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Dancing Jesus founder out of jail

By | Published on Wednesday 4 November 2015

Dancing Jesus

The founder of the long defunct Dancing Jesus website is reportedly out of jail, after being sentenced to 32 months last year in one of the harshest sentences relating to online piracy to date.

As previously reported, the Dancing Jesus site provided thousands of links to unlicensed content – included pre-release music – stored in cyber-lockers like Rapidshare and Filesonic. It was forced offline in 2011 as a result of action by British record industry trade group BPI, its worldwide counterpart the IFPI, and the authorities in both the US and UK.

It then emerged that the BPI had brought a private prosecution against the site’s founder Kane Robinson and its most prolific uploader Richard Graham, following an investigation by the City Of London Police. Both men ultimately pleaded guilty to the copyright crimes they were charged with, and both were sentenced last November.

The two men received 32 and 21 month prison sentences respectively. The sentences were welcomed by the BPI, which has often criticised the fact that online piracy offences tend to result in more lenient sentences than when people run CD bootlegging operations, despite arguments online piracy is actually more damaging to the music rights sector.

But many in the file-sharing community criticised the sentences, arguing that they were far too harsh for the crime. Both men were expected to appeal the jail terms though, according to Torrentfreak, Robinson is already out of prison after serving less than twelve months of his 32 month sentence.

A lawyer who provided expert testimony for the defence during the Dancing Jesus trial has pointed out that Robinson being out of jail this early is likely just routine, in that he could have expected to serve the second half of his sentence ‘on license’ rather than in jail, and good behaviour could have brought his release forward under standard procedures.

It its unclear whether either of the men still plan to appeal.