An internet pirate from Newcastle who made up to £60,000 a month from his site which allowed people to download TV shows and films has been jailed for four years.
At its peak Anton Vickerman's surfthechannel.com attracted 400,000 visitors a day and was close to the top 500 most popular websites.
The site cost the film industry tens of millions of pounds, and ultimately huge loses to the Inland Revenue, the prosecution said.
Vickerman, 38, originally from Gateshead whose latest address was Citygate, valued the site at 400,000 US dollars (£255,000) when he offered it for sale in 2008.
Over two years the site, run via the former DJ and BT employee's firm Scopelight, turned over £1m with a profit of £250,000, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
He was jailed after being convicted of two counts of conspiracy to defraud in June.
Judge John Evans told him: "Ultimately films will not be made if the producers cannot make them at a profit."
Ari Alibhai, prosecuting, said Vickerman made between £12,000 and £60,000 a month from advertising on his site.
It was revealed that surfthechannel.com allowed access to more than 5,600 films and TV shows and experts have estimated the damages to be between £52m and £198m depending on different ways of calculating lost sales.
Vickerman's wife Kelly, who had faced the same charges, was cleared by the jury.
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