Piracy has long been a thorn in the side of the movie industry, but it’s not always easy to find out who originally uploaded copies of movies like The Revenant before they’ve even hit theatres or video. William Kyle Morarity, 31, of Lancaster, California, stole screeners of The Revenant and The Peanuts Movie and uploaded them to a torrent site while he was working on the 20th Century Fox studio lot. He was sentenced for felony criminal copyright infringement and ordered to pay $1.12 million in restitution.
“The defendant’s illegal conduct caused significant harm to the victim movie studio,” Eileen M. Decker, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, said in a statement. “The fact that the defendant stole these films while working on the lot of a movie studio makes his crime more egregious.”
According to the case, The Revenant was uploaded to a site called Pass the Popcorn six days before it’s theatrical release. In the six weeks that followed, it was downloaded over 1 million times which, according to Fox, caused them to lose over a million dollars (although I’m not sure how that math adds up).
In addition to the fine, he was also sentenced to eight months’ home detention and 24 months’ probation. He could have faced a maximum sentence of up to three years in federal prison. Morarity will also produce a public service announcement in cooperation with the FBI about the “harms of copyright infringement and piracy.”
What do you think about the $1.12 million fine for pirating and uploading two movies? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.Source: MSN
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