This should serve as a stern warning to those who think nothing of illegally sharing movies online.
Variety reports that California resident William Kyle Morarity has been found guilty of felony criminal copyright infringement after making pirate copies of ‘The Revenant’ and ‘The Peanuts Movie,’ which he then uploaded to the internet.
The 31-year old had access to the films as has was working for 20th Century Fox on the studio lot at the time – and he has now been ordered to pay the studio $1.12 million (roughly £863,000) in damages.
In addition, Morarity has been sentenced to eight months home detention, and 24 months of probation – although this doesn’t seem too bad, considering his crime carries a maximum custodial sentence of three years.
Morarity had leaked ‘The Revenant’ online six days before its Christmas Day 2015 release, and over the course of six weeks the film was downloaded over a million times.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California Eileen M. Decker says, “The defendant’s illegal conduct caused significant harm to the victim movie studio.
“The fact that the defendant stole these films while working on the lot of a movie studio makes his crime more egregious.”
Not that this kept ‘The Revenant’ from becoming a huge hit, the $132 million-budgeted movie earning over $532 million at the worldwide box office, not to mention a slew of awards including the Best Actor Oscar for Leonadro DiCaprio, and Best Director Oscar for Alejandro G. Iñárritu.
Picture Credit: 20th Century Fox