The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) is one of those lobby groups like the BPI and the MPAA, that makes a very big deal out of movie piracy. Instead of listening to experts on the subject, it often pushes for legal action against pirates and website owners and that tactic continued in 2013, even if it didn’t net the results FACT wanted, after it had a man arrested and his home raided twice, before police dropped all charges.
In a scene that must have been reminiscent of the over the top Dotcom home raid, in May 2013 five unmarked police cars full of detectives and several FACT vehicles pulled up to the house occupied by a suspected pirate. At the time he stood accused of recording a copy of Fast and Furious six and uploading it. Ultimately plenty of his property was seized, including multiple computers, laptops, harddrives and his phone, and the man was bailed until later that year.
However shortly before his hearing, his home was raided again, and he was one again arrested too, though this time alongside his sister and her ex-boyfriend. They had apparently recorded a copy of the film Epic, despite being a little lighter on equipment than they were earlier in the year. Again he was bailed – as were his sister and her ex – until recently.
This time around though, when answering his bail, the man was informed that the police had dropped all charges, being told by the lead officer that “F.A.C.T had not sent over any paperwork relating to the case, so he did not know what to do.” FACT then agreed to give back most of their confiscated hardware, including computers and hard drives, though it kept the accused’s phone. The reason some of the property is still being detained, is because FACT looks to be considering a private prosecution, though how it is able to legally hold on to someone’s property when it has yet to file any paperwork is suspect.
As it stands, the alleged pirate is having to just play the waiting game to find out what FACT plans to do and when (if ever) he’ll be able to get his, now quite outdated, hardware back.
KitGuru Says: This whole thing was a gigantic waste of everyone’s time and you’d think if FACT isn’t able to get anything going, that it could be sued by the man who’s life has been turned upside down for no apparent reason. It’s even more worrying that the police seemed at a loss when it hadn’t received any instructions from the media lobby group.