Man Jailed For File Sharing

Gretchen Gallen
HONG KONG – In the first case of its kind, a man has been jailed for distributing movie files over the Internet.

The man, Chan Nai-ming, was sentenced to three months for using BitTorrent to upload pirated movies. He was convicted of copyright infringement in October.

Known as "Big Crook," Chan was arrested by Chinese authorities in January for pirating three newly released mainstream movies, “Miss Congeniality,” “Daredevil,” and “Red Planet.”

BitTorrent enables users to download content from a variety of sources by breaking down a file into smaller fragments, typically a quarter of a megabyte in size. Peers download missing fragments from each other and upload those that they already have to peers that request them.

Chan is the first person in the history of the Internet to be jailed for file sharing.

Hollywood movie studio representatives and Hong Kong police officials are hoping that Chan’s jail sentence will send a sober warning to the file-sharing community that use services like BitTorrent for illegal purposes.