Danish “Dropbox Pirate” Received Imprisonment Sentence

Written by Bill Toulas
Last updated April 30, 2020

A woman who thought it would be a good idea to sell access to her Dropbox folder where she had academic textbooks stored has just received a jail sentence by a court in Denmark. The plaintiff was the Danish Rights Alliance “Rettighedsalliancen,” and this case was part of a wider prosecution effort that concerned a total of three individual pirates. The anti-piracy organization noticed an advert that was placed on a popular site in the country, offering 115 digital copies of e-books for only 20 kronor (about $2). The books belonged to publishers Gyldendal, Lindhardt and Ringhof, University of Southern Denmark, and Social Literature, whom “Rettighedsalliancen” represented in this case.

Apparently, the woman behind the ad wasn’t bothered by the fact that the local police removed the advertisement at some point, and continued to share the material with others unlawfully. Soon, the police tracked her down to the Vanløse district in Copenhagen, and a week after, she was brought in front of the Nykøbing Falster court judge. The pirate admitted her wrongdoing, and the court decided to impose a sentence of 20 days in prison, as well as to issue a financial compensation order.

The chief of the Danish Rights Alliance Maria Fredenslund told the press that they are happy with the decision, as it sends a message to the local pirating community. Even when someone believes that the authorities won’t bother to go after pirates who are selling a small number of relatively inexpensive items for an almost insignificant profit, court decisions like this one come to prove that this is not the case, as she stated:

“It is crucial that the police move quickly in these cases, as the extent of illegal activities can quickly increase if the rumor about the possibilities for free books spreads among students. Although it may seem innocent to copy a textbook and sell it to other students, it has serious consequences in a systematic way.”

In a previous case of the same legal action, a 26-year-old student who sold textbooks and advertised the offering on the “Blue Newspaper” was sentenced to 20 days in prison and received a confiscation order. He accepted a settlement agreement with the Rights Alliance, so he should stay clear from doing the same thing again in the future. This person was selling the books for a higher price, but the Court of Fredericksberg decided to impose an identical sentence.

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