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Three UK-based men have been given prison sentences for a combined total of four years for providing illegal access to copyrighted content online.
It follows a four-year investigation by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) and the City of London Police.
Eric Brooks was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for 12 months, while Mark Valentine and Craig Lloyd were both sentenced to 18 months each, also suspended for a year.
The British trio were found guilty of operating a server containing files of films, music, games, software and e-books which they made available to users for a fee.
The police claimed users paid varying fees that were dependent on download speed or amount of data downloaded and they would make payment through PayPal accounts or direct bank transfer.
In July 2012, officers raided Brooks’s house, seizing computers and other evidence.
Enquiries with PayPal later revealed that he had made in excess of £500,000 ($633,000) in eight years from the operation.
“The success of this investigation is a result of coordinated joint working between the City of London Police and FACT,” said detective constable Chris Glover, who led the investigation for the City of London Police.
“Brooks, Valentine and Lloyd all thought that they were operating under the radar and doing something which they thought was beyond the controls of law enforcement.”
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