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

Native Netflix, Ts'o on Systemd, and Fedora 21 Alpha a Go

In today's Linux news OMG!Ubuntu! is reporting that Netflix is coming to Linux, this time natively. Jack Germain reviews Opera 12.16. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols talks to Theodore Ts'o about systemd. A preview of new Kmail show radical redesign. And finally today, Fedora 21 Alpha was approved for release! Read more

Ubuntu gets closer to debut in Meizu MX4 phone

The Ubuntu project announced a stable build for Ubuntu Touch phones, a week after Meizu tipped an Ubuntu version of the Meizu MX4 phone due in December. The Ubuntu for Phones team at the Canonical’s Ubuntu Project announced the arrival of the first image from the Ubuntu-rtm (release to manufacturing) distribution for phones. The announcement followed last week’s tease from Meizu, saying a version of the Android-based Meizu MX4 was on schedule for shipping with Ubuntu in December. Read more

Android L Will Keep Your Secrets Safer

Hard on the heels of increased security measures in Apple's newly released iOS 8, Google this week confirmed that encryption will be turned on by default in the next release of Android. Android has offered encryption for more than three years, and keys are not stored off the device, so they can't be shared with law enforcement, Google said. In the next Android release, encryption will be enabled by default. Read more

WHAT THE GNOME RELEASE TEAM IS DOING

At the release team BoF at this years Guadec, I said I would write a blog post about the whats and hows and ifs of release team work. I’m a little late with this, but here it is: a glimpse into the life of a GNOME release team member. We are in the end phase of the development cycle, when the release team work is really kicking into high gear. Read more