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Pirate Beatles website operator jailed by Brazilian court

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LONDON, UK (Top40 Charts/ IFPI) - The owner of a website in Brazil that sold pirate copies of music from The Beatles has been sentenced to more than 18 months in prison this week. The result is a success for IFPI's Brazilian Anti-Piracy Unit which spent five months investigating the illegal operations of the site.

The counterfeit compilations of music from The Beatles were compacted into .mp3 format without authorisation from the copyright holders and sold for an average price of R$15 (approximately US$7). Buyers could complete the transaction through a direct bank deposit, after which the counterfeit compilations were mailed to the buyers anywhere within Brazil.

Following the investigation, the case was presented to the specialist cybercrime police division in São Paulo. A search and seizure raid was conducted and the police seized computers belonging to the website administrator, as well as a CD burner and pirate CDs. The equipment was sent for a forensic examination which concluded that it had been used to persistently violate copyright.

The 18th Criminal Court of São Paulo sentenced the pirate website operator to one year and eight months imprisonment. The court recognised the crime had been perpetrated more than 140 times under similar conditions and this factor increased the length of the prison sentence by two-thirds.

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