Czech Software Pirate Avoids Fine with YouTube Views

Jakub F. won’t pay a 5.7 million CZK fine – because his YouTube video reached 200,000+ views

A Czech man who shared illegal copies of Windows and other pirated software on local forums over the past decade was handed down a most unusual punishment recently.

Jakub F., unable to pay a hefty 5.7 million CZK fine, reached a settlement with rights holders represented by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) that would allow him to pay a substantially reduced fine.

The settlement stipulated that he must star in a professionally-produced YouTube video a video that denounced his actions and warned others of the dangers of software piracy.

The only catch? The video must rack up over 200,000 views. 

Will Jakub make it?

Well, after popular global tech website Engadget ran Jakub’s story yesterday, the November 22 video quickly spread and passed 200,000 views within hours. As of Friday morning, it sits at over 400,000. 

The story was originally reported internationally by the torrent sharing information site, and soon made the online pages of the BBC, The Guardian, and elsewhere. 

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Jakub’s website, “My Piracy”, contains further information about his case.

“I thought that I was not doing anything wrong,” he writes, referring to eight years of software piracy. “I thought it does not hurt the big companies.”

According to Engadget, Jakub is the country’s first convicted software pirate. 

You can watch the full video below:

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