Owner of “GreekStars” Pirate Site Received Five Years of Imprisonment

By Bill Toulas / November 22, 2019

The Felonies Court of Appeals in Komotini, Northern Greece, has sentenced the owner of “greekstars.net”, “greekstars.biz”, and “greekstars.co” to five years in prison. This is the first time ever that a Greek court decided to impose a non-appealable imprisonment sentence to a person who is accused of copyright infringement acts, indicating a change in the way that these crimes are treated in the country. The same person was previously condemned by another Greek court in Thessaloniki, so this decision was the definitive one. The pirate was led directly to jail, and no option to submit an appeal was given to him.

While this may sound overly harsh, this case is a special one. The owner of the aforementioned websites was the subject of four criminal prosecutions in the past, being arrested an equal number of times between 2009 and 2012. Instead of repenting, the pirate continued to distribute pirated content on other domains, mocking the judiciary system and making money out of these illegal activities. As it seems, the person thought that he had more to gain through piracy than to lose from prosecution, so putting him in jail was the only way to stop him at this point.

The websites that were distributing the material to regular pirates contained films, series, commercial software, music, books, and many other forms of paid content and media that the operator had no rights to share. Besides the files that were hosted on the websites directly, there were also hyperlinks pointing to file hosting services such as Rapidshare, Easybytez, and others. All of the domains belonging to the defendant have now gone offline, but this is not the end of piracy in Greece.

To the contrary, the Greek Committee of the Intellectual Property Organization (ΕΟΠΙ) has already asked the authorities to block another 38 domains, as well as to arrest and imprison their operators. While some of the operators or moderators of other notorious Greek pirating websites have received imprisonment sentences in the past, few of them have been located and arrested, and none of them was actually thrown into a cell before. That said, the case of “GreekStars” creates a judiciary precedent that serves as a warning for all pirates in the country, as well as across Europe.

Do you consider the court’s decision to be way too harsh, or did the particular pirate deserve what he got? Let us know where you stand in the comments section down below, or on our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.

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