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PRS welcomes jailing of prolific file-sharer

By | Published on Tuesday 20 December 2016

PRS For Music

PRS has welcomed the sentencing last week of a prolific file-sharer, who was handed a one year prison sentence after pleading guilty to illegally distributing chart hits online.

As previously reported, Liverpool-based Wayne Evans was arrested in September last year, accused of uploading a cappella tracks to his own ad-funded website, DeeJayPortal, as well as bundling each week’s Top 40 singles and uploading them to various torrent sites. The arrest was the result of a joint investigation between collecting society PRS For Music and their best buds over at the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (aka PIPCU).

When Evans finally appeared at Liverpool Crown Court in October he pleaded guilty to two charges of distributing an article infringing copyright and one of possessing or controlling an article for use in fraud. He was back in court last week for sentencing, resulting in the twelve months of jail time.

It’s the first custodial sentence to come out of a joint anti-piracy investigation involving PRS and PIPCU, making it a “milestone case”, said the collecting society. It’s litigation and anti-piracy man Simon Bourn said: “Music piracy on a commercial scale is a serious criminal offence and this sentencing by the Crown Court acknowledges that”.

He went on: “Copyright infringement has a severe impact on the livelihoods of creators and so it is important that PRS For Music, alongside PIPCU, continues to champion and protect our members’ rights. We hope that today’s sentencing sends a message to all those involved in this type of criminal activity, that consequences will follow”.