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EL-FLIPPO

Huge Scandal Engulfs Greek Anti-Piracy & Royalties Copyright Group

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AEPI, the Greek Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property, has often called for pirate sites to be shut down for abusing the rights of artists. Now, somewhat ironically, there are calls for AEPI to be shut down for exactly the same thing. An audit was commissioned in 2015 but up until last September, AEPI refused to provide the necessary documentation. Only after the organization was fined did it comply. The final report, obtained by Greek publication TVXS, reveals a capital deficit of around 20 million euros, which according to the publication means AEPI cannot meet its obligations.

Precisely how the group got into this mess still isn’t clear, but AEPI’s operating expenses certainly outstretched its income, creating an 11.3 million euro deficit for the period 2011 to 2014. During the same period, the company’s shareholders (CEO, General Manager, PR and Secretariat Manager) pocketed almost five million euros between them. AEPI’s CEO alone received an annual salary of 625,565 euros in 2011, more than 52,000 euros per month. This figure has prompted outrage in local media.

But while they enriched themselves, the same could not be said about the artists AEPI claims to represent. According to the audit, AEPI’s IT system tasked with handling royalty payments was incapable of producing a report to compare royalties collected with royalties being paid out. But artists were certainly being short-changed on a grand scale. “By Dec. 31st 2014, the undistributed royalties to members and rightsholders amounted to 42.5 million euros, and have still not been awarded to members,” the Greek newspaper EfSyn notes.

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Earlier this month police raided AEPI’s offices after the public prosecutor launched an investigation. AEPI, which is now said to be around 19m euros in debt, faces a mountain of allegations, not least that it provided illegal loans to board members. Last week, AEPI faced more problems when corporate and personal bank accounts operated by its board members were frozen by the authorities. But its miseries won’t be ending there. This week the Court of Appeals upheld an earlier ruling in a separate case dating back to 1997 which compels AEPI to pay up to 35 million euros to a Greek composers’ association.

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Looked briefly at Torrent sites but didn't like the idea of "File Sharing" so anything I ever tried to DL was at a snails pace so I gave it up. I like how I get stuff from Usenet. Most people don't know what it is, one guy some 15yrs ago or so, when I told him about it said "Is That still around?"  It's kinda under the radar here in the US anyway and anytime I've told people how I Search for stuff they just say it sounds like too much work. Fine with me.

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Looked briefly at Torrent sites but didn't like the idea of "File Sharing" so anything I ever tried to DL was at a snails pace so I gave it up. I like how I get stuff from Usenet. Most people don't know what it is, one guy some 15yrs ago or so, when I told him about it said "Is That still around?"  It's kinda under the radar here in the US anyway and anytime I've told people how I Search for stuff they just say it sounds like too much work. Fine with me.

Yea, I used to run a usenet feed at my house 25 years ago. 

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