German Court Sends Illegal Movie Website Owner To Jail

Kino To Founder Gets 4 years In Jail

A German court in Leipzig has sent Kino.to website owner Dirk. B to jail for a period of four-and-a-half-years after they ruled that his website breached more than 1.1 million copyrights by streaming mainstream movies and TV shows to users.

The original lawsuits filed against Dirk B. sought 11 years in jail but those three test cases were eventually consolidated into one case against the 39-year-old former floor layer.

While it is believed that Dirk B. has profited illegally to the tune of $8 million the court asked only that he pay back $4.7 million.

After the court’s decision judge Karsten Nickel said Dirk B. had operated the “most serious” copyright infringing operation known within the German jurisdiction.

Kino.to was established in 2008 and while the site was meant to serve a German audience its servers were actually located in the Netherlands. In 2011 a warning was placed on the website letting users known that it was shut down by law enforcement.

Kino.to was fond to have more than 135,000 films, television episodes and documentaries stored on its servers. The site claimed more than four million visits per day, mostly from German Internet users who were seeking free to watch movies which were fueled by high-revenue advertisements.

The site was Germany’s answer to MegaUpload.com and was actually better known in the country than Kim Dotcom’s service which was shut down in January 2012.

Also jailed to four-year terms are the websites main programmer and three other company participants.

Do you think more illegal file-sharing platforms will be closed down in the near future?