A convicted software pirate has been handed an unusual punishment by a Czech court.
The man, named in the press only as Jakub F, will be spared having to pay a heavy fine – as long as a film denouncing piracy he was ordered to make gets 200,000 views. He came to the out-of-court settlement with a host of firms whose software he pirated after being convicted. In return, they agreed not to sue him. The 30-year-old was also given a three-year suspended sentence.
The criminal court decided that any financial penalty would have to be decided either in civil proceedings or out of court. The firms, which included Microsoft, HBO Europe, Sony Music and Twentieth Century Fox, estimated that the financial damage amounted to thousands of pounds, with Microsoft alone valuing its losses at 5.7 million Czech Crowns (£148,000). But the Business Software Alliance (BSA), which represented Microsoft, acknowledged that Jakub could not pay that sum. Instead, the companies said they would be happy to receive only a small payment and his co-operation in the production of the video.