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The Poker Prof and Dancing Jesus

November 30, 2014

You may have heard about two men (one of whom pleaded guilty) jailed in the UK for operating a Bit “We Know Nothing” Torrent site called “Dancing Jesus” that seems to have specialized in pirating pre-release copies of famous recording artists.

According to News.com:

Site owner and administrator Kane Robinson, 26, was jailed for two years and eight months at Newcastle Crown Court after he admitted to illegally distributing music from the likes of Adele, Arctic Monkeys and Kanye West.

Richard Graham, 22, was jailed for 21 months. He illegally distributed thousands of files on Dancing Jesus, including about 8000 tracks, around two-thirds of which were prerelease.

Graham pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to illegally distributing music.

More than 22,500 links to 250,000 individual titles were made available on Dancing Jesus between 2006 and 2011.

You may have been wondering how they came up with the name “Dancing Jesus”, kind of an odd choice for a pirate haven.  Whatever could have inspired the choice of that name?  What possible connection could there be between Jesus and theft, much less dancing?

Here’s a possible explanation from the Authors@Google series from political PACmeister Lester Lawrence Lessig III (or as he’s known at MTP, the Poker Prof).  As he says “all the lawyers I train for a living [come to work for Google]”.  (Lessig’s use of the video was not without controversy at the time.)

I’m sure that the defendants weren’t inspired by Lessig’s theories against copyright.  Or perhaps it was the defendants who inspired Lessig.  It was probably pure coincidence that they chose the name “Dancing Jesus”.   It would be unfortunate if a major political fundraiser like Lessig was out there inspiring crimes.

And remember–PAC rhymes with hack.

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