Two individuals associated with T411, once France’s most-visited torrent site, have received prison sentences from a Criminal Court in Rennes. The defendants were identified through PayPal records and IP addresses. They are also liable for €489 million in piracy damages. One of the defendants, a Ukrainian sysop residing in Sweden, has expressed intentions to appeal the judgment.
T411, a popular semi-private torrent tracker catering to a French-speaking audience, was shut down by French law enforcement in the summer of 2017. The main suspect was located in Canada, while the system administrator hailed from Ukraine. Several French individuals were also identified as moderators.
The Criminal Court in Rennes has now sentenced the two main suspects. The Canadian creator of the torrent site, Mr. Jolicoeur, has been ordered to serve a three-year prison term and pay a €150,000 fine. As he was absent from court, a warrant for his arrest has been issued. Additionally, the court has awarded an unprecedented €489 million in damages to rightsholders, with the movie industry companies receiving €471 million and French music group SACEM receiving €18 million.
The court also sentenced the T411 sysop, Mr. R.V., who now resides in Sweden, to 18 months in prison, with 13 months being conditional. Since he has already served this time in pre-trial detention, he remains free. Mr. R.V. is also held responsible for 30% of the damages award, totaling over €146 million. He has expressed disappointment and plans to appeal the judgment.
In addition to the main suspects, several French moderators of T411 have also been sentenced. They are required to pay €250 each to the listed rightsholders.
The investigation into T411 began in 2015, with authorities successfully identifying the suspects by cross-referencing PayPal accounts, IP addresses, and bank details.