Tyne & Wear

Two men jailed over Dancing Jesus site music piracy

Two men have been jailed for illegally distributing music through an online music forum.

Kane Robinson and Richard Graham used the Dancing Jesus site to share music, often before its official release.

The website allowed members to post tens of thousands of illegal links to music which they had uploaded.

Image copyright British Phonographic Society
Image caption The Dancing Jesus website was used to share some music before its official release

Robinson, 26, of North Shields, was sentenced to 32 months, while Graham, 22, from Leicestershire, was jailed for 21 months at Newcastle Crown Court.

'Give nothing back'

The British Phonographic Society (BPI) said it began investigating the men in 2010, along with the City of London Police and the US Department of Homeland Security.

The BPI, which represents the UK music industry, said the site had posted links to more than 250,000 individual tracks between 2006 and 2011.

Graham, from Broughton Astley, and Robinson, of Wyndham Way, both admitted the illegal distribution of music at previous hearings.

Speaking after sentencing, the director of BPI's Copyright Protection Unit, David Wood, said: "Piracy - particularly pre-release - can make or break an artist's career, and can determine whether a record label is able to invest in that crucial second or third album.

"In this day and age, with so many quality digital music services available offering access to millions of tracks through free and premium tiers, there is no good reason to use pirate sites that give nothing back to artists and offer a substandard experience for consumers.

"Speaking as a music fan, it just doesn't make sense to help criminals when you can support artists."

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