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Man behind French piracy site ordered to pay €83 million to copyright owners

By | Published on Thursday 22 February 2018


The man behind a former French piracy operation that provided access to streaming movies without licence has been handed a two year prison sentence and ordered to pay €83 million in damages to various movie companies and music rights collecting society SACEM.

The man accused of running Streamiz – at one point one of the most popular piracy sites in France – was arrested in 2011. He subsequently failed to show up to court hearings and was therefore found guilty of copyright crimes and subsequently sentenced without actually being in the room.

When originally arrested, the defendant had €30,000 stuffed in his backpack. Investigators reckon that he had made about €150,000 over two years from advertising that appeared on his piracy site.

That’s a long way off the €83 million he has now been ordered to pay to the movie and music industries. Even if police catch up with the champion pirate, it seems unlikely he’ll ever pay those mega-bucks damages, although he may have to serve his jail time at some point.

Either way, it’s a tough sentence for the former Streamiz operator. SACEM, which would be due royalties for music contained within the movies Streamiz provided access to, welcomed the judgement. It’s Secretary General, David El Sayegh, told reporters that the ruling “sends a very clear message: there will be no impunity for pirates”.