A Czech software pirate known as Jakub F has been told to get 200,000 views on a YouTube video, or potentially face a massive fine, TorrentFreak reported.
Companies like Microsoft, HBO, Sony Music, and Twentieth Century Fox estimated that the convicted copyright infringer owed the around $373,000 in damages.
However, it doesn’t appear as though the court was prepared to accept the number the companies were suggesting.
According to the Prague Monitor, Jakub F. was required to pay 5.7 million Czech koruna (crowns) in damages, which translates to around $224,215 (US).
Unable to pay the large fine, Jakub F. and the plaintiffs represented by BSA | The Software Alliance reached an agreement on an “alternative sentence”.
He agreed to star in a public service announcement about his life as a pirate, and promote the video online.
“If I promote my story and my video gets at least 200,000 views, I will only serve the general part of my sentence,” Jakub said.
“In the video I play myself and this is really my story. I shot the video with a professional firm. Sharing is how this started and sharing is how I would like my story to end up.”
At the time of publication, the video was sitting at just under 140,000 of the required 200,000 views.
TorrentFreak provided the following translation of the video:
I had to start this site because for eight years I spread pirated software and then they caught me. I thought that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I thought that it didn’t hurt the big companies. I didn’t even do it for the money, I did it for fun.
I felt in the warez community that I meant something. I was convinced that I was too small a fish for someone to get to me. But eventually, they got me. Even for me, the investigators came to work.