Police officers from the Central Office for Combating Cybercrime have brought an end to a major pirate site offering films and series. Two men were charged with illegal distribution of copyrighted works. The originator and owner of the service was temporarily arrested. The total amount of damage resulting from the operation of the service is estimated by the wronged parties at several million zlotys.
As reported by asp Krzysztof Wrześniowski of the CBZC Press Team first, in November last year, officers from the Gorzów Wielkopolski Division of the CBZC detained a person responsible for the maintenance of the service in the Wielkopolska voivodeship. He was a 28-year-old man. Then, in January this year, the originator and owner of the illegal procedure was detained in the Pomeranian Voivodeship. Both men were charged under Article 116(1) and (2) of the Act on Copyright and Related Rights. The detained 33-year-old man was additionally charged with fraud in the District Prosecutor’s Office in Zielona Góra, and the District Court in Zielona Góra applied a preventive measure in the form of temporary detention.
– Zalukaj.vip was one of the largest piracy sites distributing films and series. Its activity was based solely on illegal distribution of audiovisual content. This resulted in huge financial losses on the part of entities offering legal access to films and TV series in Poland and elsewhere,” comments Piotr Wójtów of the Section for Combating Piracy at CANAL+ Polska, a member of the Sygnal Association bringing together broadcasters and video content distributors in the fight against piracy. He adds – The joint actions of the victims and law enforcement authorities led to the closure of the website and the apprehension of those responsible for its operation. This shows that the fight against piracy is taken seriously and that the people running such services must expect their identity to be revealed and face the consequences.
Teresa Wierzbowska, President of Sygnal, also draws attention to the inevitability of the punishment – An additional warning for pirates should also be the sentence heard by the owner of another service, who was ordered by a court in Białystok to pay over PLN 47 million to copyright owners in 2021, recalls Wierzbowska.
Zalukaj.vip had been illegally distributing video content since at least February 2020. Data storage media and mobile phones were secured during the execution of procedural activities. As the CBZC points out, cooperation with the General Inspector of Financial Information was helpful in the execution of the case.