An unusual punishment has been agreed between a ‘copyright pirate’, Jakub F, and a host of software, film and record companies whose works he had been distributing for free. He has agreed to star in a video denouncing piracy and will avoid a fine so long as the video gets over 200,000 hits.

Having already been convicted of copyright piracy in the Czech Republic, this may seem like a lenient sentence which will encourage more people to undertake this activity than it will deter. However, it is notable that it was agreed that Jakub F was not undertaking the piracy for personal gain and he would be unable to afford a substantial financial penalty.

Instead, the companies have focussed on the alternative strategy of educating people about the effect and potential results of their pirating. By using Jakub F’s profile, the companies hope to be able to reach an audience that may otherwise not be receptive to their message demonstrating the dangers of pirating and also reaffirming that criminal nature of that act to those that download pirated works.

It is an interesting change or approach, but is a sign that these companies are adopting a more nuanced and tailored approach to the myriad of different goals and motivations that apply in these situations.

A convicted software pirate has been handed an unusual punishment.

The man, named only as Jakub F, will be spared having to pay hefty damages – as long as a film denouncing piracy he was made to produce gets 200,000 views.