Evans, R v, Court of Appeal - Criminal Division, February 14, 2017, [2017] EWCA Crim 139

Issuing Organization:Criminal Division
Actores:Evans, R v
Resolution Date:February 14, 2017
 
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SMITH BERNAL WORDWAVE

Neutral Citation Number: [2017] EWCA Crim 139

No: 201700001 A4

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL

CRIMINAL DIVISION

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand

London, WC2A 2LL

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

B e f o r e:

LORD JUSTICE DAVIS

MR JUSTICE SPENCER

HER HONOUR JUDGE MUNRO QC

(Sitting as a Judge of the CACD)

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R E G I N A

v

WAYNE EVANS

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Computer Aided Transcript of the Stenograph Notes of

WordWave International Limited

Trading as DTI

8th Floor, 165 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2DY

Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7404 1424

(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)

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Mr S Parry appeared on behalf of the Appellant

Ms T Loftus appeared on behalf of the Crown

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J U D G M E N T (As Approved by the Court) 1. LORD JUSTICE DAVIS: This is an appeal against sentence, the matter having been referred by the Registrar and for which we grant leave. It raises questions of the proper level of sentence appropriate to offences of distribution of articles which infringe copyright; the offending charged being by reference to section 107(1)(e) of the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988. It has to be said that the offending in this particular case occurred in rather unusual circumstances.

  1. The appellant is a man now aged 39 who had no previous convictions of any kind. He pleaded guilty, at what was accepted to be the first practical moment, on 7 October 2016 in the Crown Court at Liverpool to two offences of distributing an article infringing copyright contrary to section 107(1)(e) of the 1988 Act and also to a further offence of possessing an article for use in fraud contrary to section 6(1) of the Fraud Act 2006. On the first count he was sentenced by HHJ Trevor Jones to 12 months' imprisonment. On the second count he was sentenced to 6 months' imprisonment. On the third count, the count of possessing an article for use in fraud, he was sentenced to 10 months' imprisonment. All sentences were stated to run concurrently. Consequently the total sentence was one of 12 months' immediate imprisonment.

  2. The background facts are these. Putting it broadly, any person who wishes to provide online distribution, streaming services or downloading services for copyrighted music normally requires a licence from the Performing Rights Society. The appellant did not have such a licence. However, he operated a number of websites which were responsible for the illegal distribution of licensed and copyrighted material. He did not himself have the material on his own websites; but he facilitated internet users by operating websites which permitted them to go elsewhere in order to find digital material via what are called "torrent" websites which permitted such downloading. The appellant himself had three websites which he administered. They were hosted through a proxy server, a computer system or application which facilitated access to material on the internet and which also provided a degree of anonymity to those who were supplying or accessing it and which bypassed other sites which might have been blocked by UK internet service providers. The three website also shared an internet protocol address. They were set up using the same email account registered to the appellant.

  3. In due course, cease and desist notices, as they are called, were served on the website administrator (the appellant) and they were served on more than one occasion. We have not ourselves been shown copies of such notices...

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