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A UK man has been sentenced to eight months, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to illegally creating and distributing karaoke tracks online.
Steve Mather, from Lancashire, pleaded guilty to copyright offences at Manchester Crown Court in late June. The UK's Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) announced the sentencing yesterday, August 9.
Back in 2015, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) sent PIPCU a referral after one of its members, Digitop, became aware of online accounts called KaraokeRG and Karaokekid.
The accounts, which were owned by Mather, were making torrented karaoke tracks available to the public without permission from the rights owners, Digitop and Sunfly Karaoke.
Then, in December that year, PIPCU officers conducted a search warrant at Mather’s house. They found emails on a seized laptop that linked to the website used by Mather.
Between May 2015 and November 2015, Mather had received £172.73 via the Paypal account linked to KaraokeKid.
Digitop estimated its loss to be £485,000, based on 44,000 illegal downloads over three years. Sunfly Karaoke said that the loss from the copying and distributing of four albums is projected to be nearly £30,000.
Nick Court, acting detective chief inspector at PIPCU, said: “By making these tracks available to the public, this not only impacts upon the businesses involved, but also upon those who work for them by putting jobs at risk and negatively impacting upon the progress of the company.”
Kiaron Whitehead, BPI general counsel, added: “KaraokeRG’s ringleader Steven Mather liked to use the nickname ‘KaraokeKid’. But, as he has learnt, the internet is not the Wild West.”
copyright infringement, copyright, karaoke, music, online copyright, Digitop, Sunfly Karaoke , PIPCU