An internet pirate who facilitated more than 600,000 illegal music downloads and sought to make money from his website was jailed today.
After the prosecution built a strong case against him, Wayne Evans, 39, admitted infringing the copyright of artists in the UK Top 40 Singles Chart by making their music available illegally through his website. Though Evans did not charge website users per download, he created a facility on the site to accept donations.
Investigators identified in excess of 600,000 files shared by Evans via illegal file-sharing websites including deejayportal.com, which Evans promoted using his personal social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Evans, of Liverpool, was sentenced to 12 months in prison at Liverpool Crown Court today.
Sarah Place, Specialist Prosecutor at the CPS Specialist Fraud Division, said:
“By illegally sharing files online Wayne Evans knowingly and deliberately took money away from the music industry.
“His actions threatened the livelihood of all those working in the industry, not just the household names we are all familiar with.
“This case demonstrates that anyone running websites of this nature risk prosecution for their actions.”
Evans admitted two counts of copyright infringement and one count possessing or controlling articles for use in the fraud.
· The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit of the City of London Police and the Performing Rights Society for Music jointly investigated this case before referring a file to the CPS for a decision on charging.
· The CPS brought proceedings and on Friday 7 October 2016 and Wayne Evans pleaded guilty to the charges against him (detail below).
· Evans infringed copyright through use of ‘torrent’ websites. These give internet users access to digital material hosted on the torrent network, which includes music, eBooks, software and films.
· Evans used www.deejayportal.com to link other users of the torrent website to ‘UK Top 40’ music and ‘Acapella’ songs. He also uploaded songs regularly, contributing to other torrent websites’ music stores. Whilst torrent websites can be used for both copyright and non-copyright materials, Evans’ offences relate to music products with copyright.
Details of charges:
Wayne Evans was charged with two charges of Distributing Material Infringing Copyright, Contrary to section 107(1)(e) of the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988. He was also charged with one charge of Possession of Articles for use in Fraud, Contrary to section 6 of the Fraud Act 2006.