From Torrent Freak:
On February 1 2013, the UK’s Federation Against Copyright Theft revealed they had joined police officers from the Economic Crime Unit to carry out raids at several addresses in central England.
As Hollywood’s enforcement arm in the UK, FACT were searching for five individuals believed to be behind several prolific and interrelated movie release groups. After a three year investigation, they finally had their men.
Graeme Reid, 40, from Chesterfield, Scott Hemming, 25, and Reece Baker, 22, both from Birmingham, Sahil Rafiq, 24, of Wolverhampton and Ben Cooper, 33, of Willenhall, were all arrested and questioned at length.
By January 2015 all had broadly pleaded guilty to charges of Conspiracy to Defraud. However, the extent of the infringement claimed by FACT in their private criminal prosecution was far in excess of that accepted by the accused.
As a result a so-called ‘Newton hearing’ will take place in a West Midlands court tomorrow, during which both sides will present their evidence to a judge who will try to work out which side is more credible. Information obtained by TorrentFreak reveals that the stakes could hardly be higher.
The numbers behind the prosecution
In order to come to a figure on losses, FACT appear to be relying on data presented publicly by ExtraTorrent, one of the world’s leading torrent sites. According to FACT the defendants were jointly responsible for around 4.2 million illegal downloads on ExtraTorrent alone.
The anti-piracy group will then take the average price of attending a cinema in the…