From Torrent Freak:
Over the past 15 years countless individuals have faced financial punishments due to online copyright infringement offenses. But what happens when a case is won by copyright holders but the alleged pirate simply cannot pay?
Answers to that question vary, but over in the Czech Republic the people at the Business Software Alliance (BSA) have come up with the most unusual solution so far to settle their case with a long-time pirate.
The case involves an individual known as Jakub F who was accused by the BSA of pirating software including Microsoft’s Windows. Over many years he uploaded links to various forums which allowed others to download content from file-hosting sites. The BSA took exception to that and tracked him down. Eventually the police ended up at Jakub’s house, confiscating his computer, DVDs and an external hard drive.
The case went to trial and in September Jakub was found guilty, with a district court handing him a three-year suspended sentence and ordering the confiscation of his equipment. But for Jakub the matter was not over yet.
Various companies involved in the lawsuit including Microsoft, HBO, Sony Music and Twentieth Century Fox estimated that Jakub had caused them around $373,000 in damages, with Microsoft alone calling for $223,000. However, it appears that the court wasn’t prepared to accept the companies’ somewhat hypothetical calculations.
Whether the companies ever intended to claw back these sums remains unclear but it now transpires that the plaintiffs and Jakub F reached agreement on what they describe…