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Surfthechannel.com stole £198 million of revenue out of the film industry

Surfthechannel.com_

Website founder gets jailed for massive fraud

It was a pioneering website that changed the face of online illegal viewing. Surfhechannel.com was the Megaupload of the UK and streamed thousands of TV shows and films illegally.

It is estimated that the cost to the film industry was up to £198 million, a huge loss to the film producers, and investors that financed and made the content.

Anton Vickerman, a former BT employee set up the website and managed to boost his site’s daily viewership to 400,000 a day. It was one of the web’s biggest portals for streams, but his intentions were to make profit off content obtained illegally. The streaming service allowed users to search for series and then watch them with ads displayed in pre-rolls and around the site.

The damage to the UK economy was ‘extensive’ because one website allowed millions of people to access content for free. In total, the internet pirate managed to earn £1 million in revenue and over £250,000 of profit during the site’s history.

Vickerman was given 4 years in prison sentence. The maximum penalty would have been 10 years.

Analysis

Websites like Surfthechannel.com take away revenues that would have otherwise been generated if people purchased the content legally. As producers lose money and content creators get paid less, the entire economy is affected. There is a knock-on effect to piracy that most people will not even think about. It’s essentially theft to not pay for content that was paid for.

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