Tag Archives: Thailand

‘Copyright’ Sting Targeting 15-Year-Old Backfires With Arrest Warrants & Record Sales

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/copyright-sting-targeting-15-year-old-backfires-with-arrest-warrant-big-sales-191112/

Krathong float (credit)

Loi Krathong is an annual festival celebrated in Thailand and some neighboring countries during which ‘krathong’ (decorated baskets) are floated on a river.

These beautiful items are often made by locals looking to generate relatively small sums to help support their families and in some cases fund their education. Sadly, there are others who see the creations as an opportunity to generate cash for themselves in an entirely more sinister fashion.

According to local media reports, earlier this month a 15-year-old girl known as ‘Orm’ or ‘Orn’ (we’ll settle on the former) was contacted on Facebook by a stranger who placed an order for 136 krathong floats. The order carried specific instructions for them to be adorned with faces of cartoon characters owned by Japanese company San-X.

When Orm took 30 completed floats to a local mall, at the request of a supposed “copyright agent” she was reportedly arrested by police for ‘copyright infringement’. She was told to pay a fine of 50,000 baht, around US$1,650, a figure that was later negotiated down to 5,000 baht, US$1,650, by her grandfather, a former policeman.

“After receiving the order, I made krathong baskets from 8am to 1.30am the next day so that I could fill the order, only to be arrested,” Orm said.

“Normally I do not make any basket with a copyrighted character. This customer stressed they wanted copyrighted characters. After being arrested I cried all night because I have never faced such legal action before.”

The action against the teenager provoked outcry in the community after the chief of a local police station said it had worked with the ‘copyright agent’ on the sting operation, Bangkok Post reported.

However, all was not what it seemed. TAC Consumer PLC, which represents San-X, issued a statement stating that it had not participated in the operation against the teenager and had assigned one of its lawyers to the case. But worse was to come.

After news of the scandal spread, other victims of the scam came forward, saying they too had been arrested and settled for even larger amounts having borrowed the money from family members. They identified the ‘copyright agent’ as the same man who targeted the teenager.

When news reached local TV, a reporter helped to track down the ‘copyright agent’, who was discovered to be a local motorcycle taxi driver called ‘Nan’ whose wife sells meatballs in the area.

Yesterday, as pressure mounted against local police, a commander announced that after 40 similar complaints were filed against the ‘copyright agent’, they would be seeking arrest warrants by the end of the week. While that news will be celebrated in its own right, the knock-on effect of all the publicity is doing wonders for Orm’s work.

After making 360 floats to sell during the Loy Krathong festival, people queued up to buy them. They sold out in an hour, making herself around 8,110 baht in profit, around US$267.00. She told local media she was “delighted” by the response having sold just 30 in previous years.

Half of the money will go towards her school fees and the rest will go to her family to help with household expenses.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Police Shut Down Thailand’s Most Popular Pirate Site Following Hollywood Request

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/police-shut-down-thailands-most-popular-pirate-site-following-hollywood-request-191108/

With millions of views per day, Movie2Free.com was one of the largest pirate sites on the Internet, particularly popular in south-east Asia.

In the west, the site doesn’t ring a bell with most people. In Thailand, however, it was listed among the top 15 most visited websites in the country, only beaten by Google, YouTube, and a few others.

The site’s popularity didn’t go unnoticed by Hollywood. Earlier this year the MPA listed the site in its yearly overview of notorious pirate sites, which it submitted to the US Trade Representative.

“The site provides access to an array of movie and TV content and comes replete with high-risk ads with malware,” the group wrote.

The MPA also informed local authorities about the site’s activities. This triggered a high-profile investigation by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) which led to the site’s shutdown this week, the Bangkok Post reports.

Movie2Free.com, which was founded in 2014, is reportedly owned by a 30-year-old Thai man who lives abroad. He hired an operator, a 22-year-old man from the north of Thailand, who was arrested at his house a few days ago.

“The DSI has found that the Thai man who was running the pirated movie website… was living abroad,” DSI director-general Paisit Wongmuang said, commenting on the news.

According to the DSI director “the site had used sophisticated equipment that made it hard for authorities to track it down, and had set up a server abroad.”

Interestingly, the site’s domain name is still active, now linking to what appears to a page promoting local charities.

A few days ago, however, the site was still offering access to thousands of movies. The owner generated revenue from various advertisements and reportedly earned more than $160,000 (5 million baht) per month. Whether that’s an estimate or a confirmed figure is unknown.

While no charges have been announced yet, authorities plan to hold the operator liable for copyright infringement. Potential tax violations are being investigated too, as well as a violation of the local gambling ban since the site had several gambling-related ads.

The Thai examiner further notes that Movie2fFree.com was used extensively by retailers who sell pirated DVDs. Whether the shutdown will have any effect on these sales has yet to be seen, as there are plenty of alternatives still online.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.