Film pirate tweet leads to arrest

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Copy of ca p10 Majedien Norton_4029 CAPE ARGUS Majedien Machos Norton has been accused of breaking copyright and counterfeit goods laws. Photo: Jason Boud


Cape Town - A tweet about Four Corners, a local film that has gained popularity on Pirate Bay and which opens at cinemas on Friday, has led to the arrest of an Epping man for allegedly sharing a copy of the film online.


Majedien Machos Norton appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Tuesday, accused of breaking copyright and counterfeit goods laws.

The charge sheet shows that Norton faces charges of contravening the Copyright Act read with the Registration of Copyright in Cinematograph Films Act; alternatively, contravening the Counterfeit Goods Act read with the Trade Marks Act and the Copyright Act. He is also charged with having contravened the Film and Publications Act.

The case was brought with help from the South African Federation Against Copyright Theft.

Norton, 29, is on bail.

Four Corners is about gangsterism on the Cape Flats.

According to court papers, in December Barry Marthinus, a senior investigator employed by the SA Federation Against Copyright Theft, saw a tweet from someone with the screen name Cape Town-Bru (CT-B) asking if others had seen the movie.

Yumna Barnes tweeted that she had. Marthinus delved deeper and found the movie available on the file-sharing torrent site “thepiratebay”.

He found that it was the original movie in an mp4 format and the person who had uploaded it had the screen name “machos123”.

Further investigations led to Norton’s arrest.

It is believed that the case is the first of its kind in South Africa.


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Cape Argus

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