Denmark hands out prison sentence for sale of pirate books to students

Denmark hands out prison sentence for sale of pirate books to students
Photo: olegkrugllyak/Depositphotos
A 26-year-old man has been given a conditional prison sentence for selling unlicensed digital copies of books online.

The man made 155 sales of the illegal digitized books via Den Blå Avis, a Danish e-commerce website comparable to eBay.

He was sentenced to 20 days in prison by the city court in Fredriksberg on Wednesday. The verdict will not be appealed.

The 26-year-old will not spend time in prison – since the sentence is conditional – provided he does not repeat the offence.

RettighedsAlliancen, an interest organisation for the creative industries, raised alarm over the pirate books after discovering a profile named ‘Michael R’ offering them on the online marketplace, Ritzau reports.

After making a purchase using payment app MobilePay, customers were sent a Google Drive link, from where the relevant volume was downloadable as a pdf file.

The profile was reported to Denmark’s economic crime unit, Bagmandspolitiet.

Several similar cases are currently being investigated by the police section, but Wednesday’s is the first example of a conviction.

The 26-year-old explained to the court that, after struggling to find work after completing his studies, he began making ends meet by selling online digital copies of books that he had previously shared with fellow students.

“I didn’t put so much thought into it to think I was doing anything wrong,” he said.

Confiscation of profits from the scheme, totalling 27,740 kroner, were ordered by the court.

Additionally, the man agreed to pay 34,870 in compensation to copyright holders, in an agreement made with RettighedsAlliancen.

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