A convicted man from Czech Republic accused of software piracy was given a rather unusual punishment as an alternative to pay hefty fines.
The 30-year-old known only as Jakub F had been stealing and distributing Microsoft's Windows 7 and 8 operating systems for years. Major technology companies like HBO Europe, Sony Music, Twentieth Century Fox and Microsoft claim he caused them nearly $373,000 worth of damages.
He was found guilty in a court and given a three-year suspended sentence. However, to get rid of his financial penalty he reached an out-of-court settlement with the firms.
Jakub was forced to make an anti-piracy video to get 200,000 views on YouTube in two months.
As it turns out, he managed to do it within a matter of few days.
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In his YouTube video, the pirate explains he couldn’t pay off the fine with his current salary and how the firms agreed upon the unusual out-of-court settlement. He also set up a website to promote the video.
"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," says Jakub on his website, according to TorrentFreak. “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."
The Internet listened to his plea and came to his rescue. Less than four days into the release of the video, it attracted the double the views that the court required.
Jakub still has to serve time in jail. But thanks to his online supporters and admirers, he doesn’t have to worry about his debt anymore.