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Saturday, June 23, 2007


Griffiths Sentenced

Hew Griffiths has been sentenced to 51 months in jail for conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. According to this report on Ninemsn, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Chuck Rosenberg has warned that "for those inclined to steal Intellectual Property here [the United States], or from halfway around the world, they are on notice that we can and will reach them." More on this over the next few days.

Update: Additional news about the story is starting to hit the mainstream media. According to a Sydney Morning Herald report, US District Court Judge Claude M Hilton took account of the fact that Griffiths served 3 years in Australian prisons, so he will only seve 15 more months (in a United States prison). This puts to rest fears that Griffiths had expressed to his father that the judge would not take into account those three years served in jail prior to his extradition to Virginia (see those here).

It's been quite interesting actually to see how our local news media handled the story. Just after the sentence was announced the Sydney Morning Herald picked up this AFP story about the case, titled "Briton sentenced to 51 months prison in US for internet piracy." Griffiths is in fact British, having never gained Australian citizenship after arriving in Australia aged 7. Both the mainstream Sydney Sunday newspapers, The Sun-Herald and the Sunday Telegraph picked up the story with the Sun-Herald story reproduced on the Sydney Morning Herald site here. So the case has been getting coverage, although perhaps not as much as might be expected, given that this was a case involving 1) extradition to the United States and 2) jail sentences for copyright infringement.


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