Wolverine Movie Pirate Sentenced to 1 Year & A Strong Message is Sent!

by on December 19, 2011

in Entertainment

'The Wolverine'

The man who was responsible for uploading that unfinished copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine on the eve of April Fools Day more than a year ago was sentenced today (12/19/11) to a year in federal prison for that simple act that was a function of movie piracy.

This criminal sentence finally puts movie piracy on the books that stealing movies from the internet is, well, stealing.

It was further exemplified that “The Justice Department will pursue and prosecute persons who seek to steal intellectual property…”

What I find interesting is the wording used to represent the deed that took place…

It was noted that Fox had the illegal upload removed from Megaupload within one day of it being uploaded.  But during that day, the stolen content went rather viral, and as the legal system called it, his upload resulted in millions of infringements.  Infringements.

They’re not mincing words now that they have a conviction under their belts.  And this could spell all kinds of legal problems for some folks that are involved in movie piracy, no matter what part of the chain they’re in!

This conviction is an interesting development in what I have been calling the Wild West of the internet.  And as more and more people strive to take liberties with content on the internet, more business entities are feeling forced to take actions that no one wants or likes.  Yet our brethren web surfers will doom us to some kind of restricted internet some day.

When this leaked Wolverine movie hit the internet and went viral, without nary a thought, many on Twitter (when it was working) and other bulletin boards were reveling  in the event that was thrust upon Fox.

Many piled on bragging (outing themselves) about downloading the movie, grabbing their popcorn and enjoying their stolen content.  (OK, I added the stolen part.)

Some even went so far as to start posting reviews of their visual experience.  One mainstream reviewer even got himself fired for putting out his review.  Ouch!  There’s nothing like admitting to the crime then posting reviews to prove it!

I got a kick out of the folks that seemed to like bragging about the idea they saw the movie before everyone else and started reviewing it.

Back then, Fox had let out a statement saying they would pursue and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone they can.  And today it looks like they got their shot in.

But that’s one side of this interesting coin of legal ownership.

Digital Movie Piracy is deemed illegalThat corporate side says it’s their intellectual property that they’ve created and it’s their property to distribute as they see fit.  Kind of like when you buy a book or a music CD.  Or a car or anything else that a business creates and sells.  It’s theirs and they sell it to make a profit.

But there is this totally fascinating perspective that this new generation of web surfers have and it’s amazing how much they think they’re correct in they’re perspective.

Check out some of the ‘thoughts’ and perspectives I’ve seen online:

  • It’s digital content on the internet and it is nothing like the real thing;
  • Pirating a movie does not hurt the bottom line. (So it’s OK to steal it.);
  • Downloading a movie is not illegal;
  • This is the reality of the real world on the internet;
  • Piracy is a marketing sampling;
  • I saw it at the movies and I downloaded it.  What’s the issue?;

And one of my all-time favorites,

  1. They want to preview it to decide if they want to go see it, buy it or rent it.

I honestly don’t get this mentality that folks believe that stealing is OK, and yes, it’s stealing.

Stealing:  Take (another person’s property) without permission or legal right.

I’ve always considered downloading a pirated movie without paying for it as stealing.  I’ve never done it, never will.  Unless the originating creator puts it out there and declares it free, it isn’t.

At least to me, it’s as simple as that.

The Most Pirated Movies?

DVD and Blu-ray - pirated moviesThe most pirated film out there today is Avatar, with an estimated 21 million downloads.  James Cameron thought that a 3D movie would help combat piracy, but apparently not when there’s a 2D version out there.

The Dark Knight is the next most pirated movie (19M DL).  Then there’s Transformers, Inception, The Hangover, Star Trek (J.J. Abrams), Kick-Ass, The Departed, etc., etc..

It seems that the level of movie piracy is a function of actual popularity!  That makes sense.

So today is yet another victory for studios and other business entities in the battle against this online piracy beast.  And to think, the perp in this case, bought it from someone on a street corner???  So per that statement, he didn’t even make the illegal copy, but he definitely burned himself by uploading it.

And I know I’m a bit old-fashion in my premise, but yes, it’s illegal, no matter what format you snag a movie, if it’s a copyrighted property.  That seems as simple as it gets.  If it’s not yours and you take it…, well, that’s the adage that’s been around for a while.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s almost midnight.  That’s the best time of day to go by that Ferrari dealership down the street and ‘preview’ their cars before I decide if I want to buy one or not!  Next week, I’m “checking” out my neighbor’s cool new car.  But it’s OK… I’ll put it back when I’m done.


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