An appeals court in Hong Kong has upheld the conviction of a man who used the online handle "Big Crook" when he uploaded three movies onto the Internet via the BitTorrent program. Chan Nai-ming, 39, began serving a three-month prison sentence after the judge, Clare-Marie Beeson, rejected Chan's plea that he simply be allowed to perform community service. In his appeal Chan had argued that the original judge did not take into consideration the fact that he did not profit from uploading the movies. But Beeson said in her ruling that the judge had measured the seriousness of the crime by the harm done to the copyright holders, not by the gain made by Chan, who at the time was "aware of the possible criminal implications of uploading films to the system." Beeson also rejected Chan's argument that the movies "were neither current, nor in the 'blockbuster' category," commenting that the original judge "was not in a position to assess the quality or value of such material." Hong Kong news reports said that the case represented "the world's first criminal conviction of a movie uploader."
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