Remember back in 2009 when an enterprising pirate uploaded a rough cut of X-Men Origins: Wolverine a full month before the film hit theaters? Well, that pirate got himself a year in federal prison for his troubles.
In addition to his year in jail, Bronx, N.Y., resident Gilberto Sanchez will get another year of supervised release in addition to a bevy of computer restrictions for what a United States district judge described as an "extremely serious" offense.
According to court documents, Sanchez:
"Uploaded the workprint more than one month before theatrical release, he has a prior conviction for a similar offense, he had been regularly uploading pirated movies for four or five years, and did not appear remorseful after charges were brought.
"Although Fox was able to get defendant's Wolverine workprint removed from his Megaupload account within approximately one day, by then, the damage was done and the film had proliferated like wildfire throughout the Internet, resulting in up to millions of infringements."
United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. sees this verdict as a necessary step in clamping down on Internet thievery:
"The federal prison sentence handed down in this case sends a strong message of deterrence to would-be Internet pirates. ... The Justice Department will pursue and prosecute persons who seek to steal the intellectual property of this nation."
Good to hear, though I sorta wish I could steal back the time I spent watching Wolverine.