U.K. Site Owner Sentenced to Four Years Just for Linking to Illegal Streaming Sites

Man did not engage in any illegal streaming himself.


The owner of TV streaming links site SurfTheChannel was sentenced to four years jail-time at Newcastle Crown Court today. Anton Vickerman was previously found guilty of conspiracy to defraud for "facilitating" copyright infringement . The landmark case follows a sting operation by the MPAA, who partnered with the UK Federation Against Copyright Theft to obtain evidence against the site operator.

In 2010, was among the most-visited streaming link websites on the Internet. The site had more than 400,000 visitors a day who were mostly looking for popular TV-shows.

The website was a thorn in the side of the UK and US entertainment industries who went to extremes to bring the site down. Among other things, the MPAA and FACT hired an undercover agent to gain access to the defendants' house under false pretenses.