A hacker named Jakub was found guilty of pirating Windows and other software. He was handed a three-year suspended sentence and a hefty fine—5.7 million koruna ($223,200)—by a Czech court. He couldn’t afford to pay it, so the companies suing him—including Microsoft, HBO, Sony Music, and 21st Century Fox—cut Jakub a remarkable deal.
He’d only have to pay a small fine if he participated in an anti-piracy video and it got at least 200,000 views.
A spokesman for the Business Software Alliance, which represented Microsoft, told the BBC that they included the 200,000-view prerequisite to ensure Jakub would share the video widely.
On the website (link in Czech) that Jakub set up, he writes:
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.
The video, called “The Story of my Piracy,” features decent camerawork and lighting, dramatic music probably better suited to a Bond film, and montages more appropriate for a true crime reenactment. But Jakub has succeeded. The video has not only passed the 200,000 threshold—it now has over 480,000 views.