The Czech Republic has come up with an extremely unusual punishment for a convicted file-sharing pirate who was unable to pay the massive fine awaiting him. The man, only known as Jakub F, has been told to star in an anti-piracy PSA video; and then promote it until it reaches 200,000 views.
Jakub’s problems began when he was tracked down by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and was arrested by Czech police. He stands accused of pirating various software, as well as uploading links to multiple warez sites. The activity eventually drew lawsuits from Microsoft, Sony Music, Twentieth Century Fox, an HBO which totaled some $373,000 in damages (about RM1.6 million). Naturally, Jakub was unable to pay; and the parties involved resolved to find an alternative punishment for him.
What resulted is a video titled “The Story of My Piracy”, where Jakub tell his story of being a pirate and getting caught. He has to reach 200,000 views on Youtube with this video, or it is implied that he will end up paying the damages.
The video is also accompanied by a website, which looks to have been set up by Jakub himself. The goal appears to be to deter others from following in his footsteps, although it happens to be written in Czech and Google translate is less than reliable. Of course, the video is also in Czech which makes it difficult to figure out what he is saying.
Fortunately, Jakub’s story is particularly interesting; and the video has already passed 367,000 views. Which means that he has kept his side of this extremely unusual bargain.