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Another Usenet download haven axed, Leeds pirates avoid jail

Legalmovies.tv wasn't actually that legal

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Two Leeds brothers behind the pirate download links website filmzzz.com have received suspended prison sentences for copyright infringement.

The men, Faraz Saddiq, 27, and Ayaz Saddiq, 26, also operated legalmovies.tv and presented both online outlets as legit operations. In reality, the websites merely pointed to unlicensed copyrighted material that could be streamed.

The pair were sentenced late last week to nine months in jail, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work. They had ignored warnings from West Yorkshire Police that they were committing a criminal offence under section 107(2A) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

The brothers were eventually prosecuted on copyright infringement and Proceeds of Crime Act charges following a probe by the Federation against Copyright Theft (FACT) and the local plod.

The sentencing comes after the jailing of Anton Vickerman, who ran the piracy links site SurfTheChannel and was convicted of conspiracy to defraud by a jury. He was sent down for four years in August.

Meanwhile this month Usenet downloads indexer NZBMatrix has pulled the plug on its service, issuing this statement on the website:

It is with our regret to announce that NZBMATRIX has closed.

We have had to make this decision due to a very large takedown request from a company called Wiggin LLC. These represent the following: Federation Against Copyright Theft Limited ("FACT"), Paramount Home Entertainment International Limited; Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Limited; The Walt Disney Company Limited; Twentieth Century Fox Film Company Limited; Universal Pictures (UK) Limited; Warner Bros. Entertainment UK Limited.

As everyone is aware we are DMCA/Takedown notice compliant, and always have been. Once this notice is completed we are left with an impossible task of policing our indexing bots.  Even then it won't stop there, there will be follow-up notices etc.

Coupled with this is problems with payment providers, we have been through pretty much everyone out there, in the end they all pull out. There are massive server/bandwidth costs to pay, with the payments in-stability this is a very hard task.

The site added that "the Usenet indexing scene is going through some changes, with content being removed from pretty much every provider its making the existence of an indexer irrelevant if the content does not even exists anymore".

Usenet was designed for text-only discussions and made its debut in 1980. It supported downloadable encoded binaries (typically split into several parts) by the end of that decade, paving the way for an early distributed network of file sharing.

Ten days ago Usenet search engine Newzbin2 shut up shop after struggling to pay its bills. ®

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