The New York man who pleaded guilty to uploading a nearly finished work print of X-Men Origins: Wolverine to the internet a month before it hit theaters, has been sentenced to a year behind bars in federal prison for letting the world see how mediocre the movie was before they had to pay $10 to see it at the theater.
In addition to the prison term, the sentence includes one year of supervised release and numerous computer restrictions.
The judge noted that the man had a previous conviction for a similar crime and that he’d “been regularly uploading pirated movies for four or five years, and did not appear remorseful after charges were brought.”
Prosecutors argued that even though Fox was able to pull down the original file from the internet about one day after it first leaked, “by then, the damage was done and the film had proliferated like wildfire throughout the Internet, resulting in up to millions of infringements.”
And yet the film still managed to rake in $373 million worldwide, not including DVD, on-demand and cable sales.
“The federal prison sentence handed down in this case sends a strong message of deterrence to would-be Internet pirates,” said the United States Attorney who surely never used Napster or watched a bootleg DVD bought off the street. “The Justice Department will pursue and prosecute persons who seek to steal the intellectual property of this nation.”