Surfthechannel used to be one of the UK’s most popular sources of pirated content. 38 year old Anton Vickerman has been found guilty of conspiracy of defraud in June for “facilitating” copyright infringement. Surfthechannel.com had acted as an index of professionally made online videos - both legal and illegal - encouraging its users to send in new links and check that they worked. The site did not host the video files itself, instead it point the visitors to other sites such as mega video and china’s tudou. In 2009 the site attracted more than 400,000 visitors a day, which generated more than £35,000 in advertising revenue a month.

Mr Vickerman ran the site through a limited company, called Scopelight. This sent the earnings to a bank account in Latvia. The Federation against Copyright Theft (fact) hired a private investigator to go and take pictures of his house and computer equipment. The investigator was claiming that he was interested in buying the house. The police raided the house a month later, arresting Mr Vickerman and his wife. His wife Kelly Vickerman was found not guilty by the jury.

 

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