Court jails pirate DJ for sharing £1m worth of tracks online

Wayne Evens

A DJ has been jailed for 12 months for a £1m music piracy operation in England.
Wayne Evans, 39, illegally downloaded and distributed online the official UK Top 40 hits each week for more than a year.

Evans, who ran two music websites, DJPortal and oldskoolscouse, pleaded guilty to illegally uploading the music to various torrent sites as they were announced each week by the Official Charts Company.

He also distributed tracks through his own website, including a cappella music to be used for DJ-ing and remixing, City of London Police said.

Investigators say his operation meant the creators of the music were deprived of payment and put the cost of lost revenue at £1,054,000 between June 2014 and July 2015. Around 700,000 music tracks were downloaded from Evans’ websites in all.

Evans, from Everton, Liverpool, was first arrested last September following a joint investigation between PRS for Music, which represents the rights of over 118,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK, and the City of London’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).

It is the first custodial sentence to arise from the two organisations working together after Evans was jailed at Liverpool Crown Court on Thursday.

Detective Constable Steven Kettle, from City of London Police, said: “Evans caused significant loss to the music industry and his actions will have effected jobs across the music industry.

“By working with partners such as PRS for Music we are better able to work collaboratively to ensure the best investigation of people like Evans and ensure that they are brought to justice.”

Music piracy is estimated to cost the entertainment industry hundreds of millions of pounds each year in the UK alone.

PRS for Music Head of Litigation, Enforcement and Anti-Piracy, Simon Bourn said: “Music piracy on a commercial scale is a serious criminal offence and this sentencing by the crown court acknowledges that.

“Copyright infringement has a severe impact on the livelihoods of creators and so it is important that PRS for Music, alongside PIPCU, continues to champion and protect our members’ rights.

“We hope that today’s sentencing sends a message to all those involved in this type of criminal activity, that consequences will follow.”

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