Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Techie fired over Grokster comments on BBC

A British IT consultant accused by the Hollywood movie industry of running a BitTorrent file-sharing hub has been sacked by his employer after appearing on BBC 2's Newsnight programme last week to comment on the US Supreme Court ruling on Grokster.

Alex Hanff was served with legal papers by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) earlier this year, which claims Hanff's DVD-Core website had been helping people to illegally download copyrighted films.

It was on the back of this that Hanff was asked to appear on Newsnight to comment on the US Supreme Court ruling that peer-to-peer companies such as Grokster could be held responsible for the copyright piracy on their networks.

But on his return to work the next day Hanff was sacked by Aldcliffe Computer Systems in Lancaster, where he had been working for just a week.

The company said that he failed to disclose the pending MPAA file-sharing civil lawsuit during the application process for the job and only became aware of it from the Newsnight interview.

Tribal Group, the parent company of Aldcliffe Computer Systems, said in a statement: "The decision to terminate his employment was made in order to defend our legitimate business interests. Mr Hanff has declared that he is opposed to copyright and intellectual property laws. Since much of our business is based around the protection of our copyright and intellectual property, we consider our dismissal of Mr Hanff entirely justified and appropriate."

But Hanff claims the company gave him permission to leave work early to appear on Newsnight and said he plans to appeal against the dismissal at an employment tribunal.

He told silicon.com: "They are claiming they fired me because of my opinion, which is a breach of my human rights."

In the meantime Hanff said he has been advised by his legal representatives to ignore the MPAA civil action.

"It is a civil case and the MPAA has no jurisdiction in the UK," he said.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

Linux Mint's XApps to Get Screen Blanking, Sublime-like Search Bar Lands for Xed

We already know that work on Linux Mint 18.1, the next major release of the popular Ubuntu-based operating system loved by many users, already begun, and Clement Lefebvre shares with us today some of the improvements coming to XApps. Read more

Canonical Releases Snapcraft 2.18 Tool for Creating Snaps in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Canonical, through Sergio Schvezov, announced the release of yet another maintenance update to the Snapcraft open-source utility that helps application developers package their apps as Snaps. Read more

The Tiny Internet Project, Part I

As LJ readers well know, Linux drives many of the technologies we use every day, from smart TVs to Web servers. Linux is everywhere—except most homes and classrooms. That's a problem if we want to help breed the next generation of engineers and computer scientists. In fact, if teenagers (or any other group of curious individuals) want to learn about Linux, they often must rely on a geeky friend or parent willing to show them the way. This three-part series seeks to change that by offering a way for anyone to learn about Linux by building what is essentially a tiny, self-contained Internet. Using old equipment and free software, you'll build a private network (with your own domain name), build Web sites, set up an e-mail server, install and use a database, and set up a Linux distro mirror. Read more

Today in Techrights