This week it was revealed that Paul Mahoney, the former operator of streaming portal FastPassTV, is now facing a custodial sentence following his guilty plea before a Northern Ireland court.
After operating his sites for around six years, the prosecution claims that Mahoney made almost 410,000 euros ($471,500) in advertising revenue.
Extrapolating what was probably a good year for viewing numbers on FastPassTV, David Groome QC came to the conclusion that the 30-year-old potentially cost Hollywood around £120 million [$188m].
Following Mahoney’s guilty plea it’s unlikely that those numbers will ever be challenged. As a result, when the authorities and anti-piracy group FACT get their conviction, the public deterrent they’ve been looking for will be home and dry.
But despite looking forward to what is likely to be billed as a historic judgment, it appears that the industry still has work to do to get the man in the street onside. That became evident during an appearance by FACT Director General Kieron Sharp on the local BBC Radio Foyle
After discussing the background to the case, Sharp was confronted with an uncomfortable truth.
“I would imagine the problem for you Kieron in your job is that a lot of people out there – and we’re already seeing it in fact in the [listener] texts to the show this morning – is that [the public] don’t really see the victim in all of this,” the BBC presenter said.
“They see this as Hollywood losing a few pounds – who cares?”