Man sentenced to 12 months for music piracy after PIPCU investigation

FACT welcomes a recent sentencing result which saw a man jailed for 12 months for music piracy following a PIPCU and PRS for Music investigation.

Wayne Evans, 39 from Liverpool, was sentenced to 12 months after pleading guilty to illegally distributing chart hits online, potentially costing the music industry millions of pounds and depriving the creators of the content fair remuneration for their work.

Though Evans did not charge website users per download, he created a facility on the site to accept donations. Investigators identified in excess of 600,000 files shared by Evans via illegal file-sharing websites including deejayportal.com, which Evans promoted using his personal social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

On Friday 7 October at Liverpool Crown Court, Evans pleaded guilty to illegally uploading the UK’s Top 40 singles to various torrent sites as they were announced each week by the Official Charts Company. The 39-year-old was also distributing tracks through his own website, including acappella music to be used for DJ-ing and remixing.

Sarah Place, Specialist Prosecutor at the CPS Specialist Fraud Division, said: “By illegally sharing files online Wayne Evans knowingly and deliberately took money away from the music industry. His actions threatened the livelihood of all those working in the industry, not just the household names we are all familiar with. This case demonstrates that anyone running websites of this nature risk prosecution for their actions.”

Detective Constable Steven Kettle, who was in charge of the case, said: “Today’s sentencing will suggest to others that illegally distributing music is not without its consequences. Evans caused significant loss to the music industry and his actions will have effected jobs across the music industry. By working with partners such as PRS for Music we are better able to work collaboratively to ensure the best investigation of people like Evans and ensure that they are brought to justice.”

PRS for Music Head of Litigation, Enforcement and Anti-Piracy, Simon Bourn commented: “Music piracy on a commercial scale is a serious criminal offence and this sentencing by the Crown Court acknowledges that. 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.”

If you believe you know someone involved in intellectual property crime you can report it anonymously to Crimestoppers online or on 0800 555 111.

Related News

News Partnerships

Premier League awarded groundbreaking Court Order to block illegal streams

As part of its biggest ever crackdown on the illegal streaming of its content, the Premier League has obtained a High Court Order that will require UK Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block servers that are hosting illegal streams of its matches.

Arrests News Partnerships

Dangerous TV piracy devices seized in London raid

Westminster Trading Standards and FACT have led a successful operation that seized a cache of potentially dangerous illegal TV streaming devices.

Arrests News Partnerships

Man arrested as part of nationwide crackdown on illegal streaming devices

Derbyshire Police executed a warrant at a property in Derby as part of a crackdown on devices that illegally stream subscription services in a joint investigation with FACT.

News Partnerships Prosecutions

Three men sentenced for multi-million pound intellectual property fraud

Three men have been sentenced for providing illegal access to copyrighted content such as films, music, books and games which cost the industry more than £2.5 million pounds. The men were sentenced on Tuesday 20th June at Inner London Crown Court following a four year investigation by the City of London Police and intellectual property … Continued