Wednesday, September 14, 2005

First prosecution using Family Entertainment Act filed in CA


US Attorney's are serious about snagging bootleggers. I just can't image that these kids get much of a rush from sneaking a camera into a theater, filming the movie, and then hooking up their friends on the warez sites. They certainly aren't getting paid enough to make the risk worthwhile. The busted face a litany of charges, shockingly massive fines, up to 5 years of prison time, and lose all their computer equipment. Ouch.

The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California has charged Curtis Salisbury, a 19-year-old from St. Charles, Missouri, with violating the new law in a five-count indictment. The prosecution of Mr. Salisbury, according to the U.S. Attorney's office, is part of a continuing investigation known as Operation Copycat, which so far supposedly has resulted in the execution of over 40 searches across the country.

Specifically, Mr. Salisbury is alleged to have used [a camcorder] to copy the movies "The Perfect Man"...and "Bewitched"... Copies of these movies then allegedly were distributed on a computer network via "warez" sites that offer pirated movies, games and software. The indictment also asserts that Mr. Salisbury illegally downloaded the movie "Madagascar" and the software programs "Sony Sound Forge V8.0," Adobe "Premier Pro V7," and Adobe "Premier Pro V1.5 Proper."
The indictment charges Mr. Salisbury with conspiracy – two counts of copyright infringement by distributing a copyrighted work on a computer network – and two counts of unauthorized recording of motion pictures in a motion picture exhibition network. Included in the indictment is a criminal forfeiture and destruction provision designed to ensure forfeiture and destruction of recording equipment and unauthorized copies of films. The statutory penalties for violations of the new law can be as high as five years in prison, a $250,000 fine or twice the value of the property involved, whichever is greater, a three-year period of supervised release, and a mandatory special assessment.
Via USA Today Article: "Family Entertainment Act yields its first prosecution" by Eric J. Sinrod.

*** Not an actual picture of Curtis Salisbury, the accused. According to the site I found this pic on via a random Google Image search for "videotaping," this fellow's name is "Hunky Bear" and he's filming his "fellow marchers." Ok.


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