the law is surprisingly lenient. w/ a lack of intent to profit, they got off easy. hardly a deterrent for the next guy.
"......the seven are getting off with misdemeanor charges."
Star Wars 'Sith' p2p uploader
p2p news / p2pnet: When Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith arrived on the p2p networks, "There is no better example of how theft dims the magic of the movies for everyone than this report today regarding BitTorrent providing users with illegal copies of Revenge of the Sith," raved MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) boss Dan 'Jedi' Glickman (right).
Oh, those evil, wicked kids with their Sony camcorders.
But, "The illegal distribution of 'Sith' started during the week before its May 19 release, when Albert Valente, 28, of Lakewood took a DVD copy of the film from a post-production facility where he worked," says the Los Angeles Daily News.
"The firm was hired by the studio for the post-production work," the story has US assistant attorney Brian Hoffstadt saying.
After Valente (no relation to ex-MPAA boss Jack Valenti) gave copies to, "Jessie Lumada, 28, of Long Beach, who gave it to another friend, Ramon Valdez, 30, also of Long Beach," says continues the LA Daily News. "Valdez took 'Sith' to the cable company where he worked and allowed co-worker Michael Fousse, 42, of Monrovia to upload it onto the company's internal network.
"Dwight Wayne Sityar, 27, of La Crescenta, who also worked at the cable company, then burned the movie onto three CDs and gave them to co-worker Stephani Gima, 25, of Los Angeles. Gima gave the movie to her brother-in-law, Joel De Sagun Dimaano, 33, of Los Angeles, who brought it to his work at MGM Studios and lent it to Hoaglin, his co-worker.
"Hoaglin uploaded the movie onto the Internet."
Does that mean Valente and friends could land in jail for up to 17 years or perhaps be fined $250,000, as advocated by Hollywood friend, and chairman of House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, Lamar Smith?
That was what Curtis Salisbury was looking at after allegedly camcording The Perfect Man and Bewitched, "and then distributed them through illicit computer networks that specialize in piracy".
But No. That fate doesn't, apparently, await the Hollywood insiders and their friends.
Despite, "going over to the dark side by getting their hands on copies of 'Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith' before its theatrical release" and pleading guilty to federal piracy charges, the seven are getting off with misdemeanor charges.
"If they'd done it for financial gain or profit, then that could have become a felony, but ... that wasn't the case for these folks," said Hoffstadt.
But what about Hoaglin who uploaded the movie, causing such grief for Glickman and his employers at the MPAA? Jail and a heavy fine?
Nope. Since he pleaded guilty, "prosecutors are recommending home confinement instead," says the LA Daily News.
OK, then. But that's because Hoaglin's theft was an isolated incident, surely? Nope.
An AT&T Labs report said a total of 285 movies its researchers sampled on the p2p networks, 77% were leaked by industry 'insiders'; actor and studio owner Mel Gibson sued a Hollywood post-production house for the online appearance of his Passion movie; and, Russell Sprague got 130 movies from Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences member Carmine Caridi, who was ordered to pay Warner Bros a paltry $300,000 for providing Sprague, who died in an LA jail cell, with the copies."
Meanwhile, "Any competition 'Sith' faced from the online version did not keep it from earning $50 million at the box office its opening day," adds the LA Daily Times.
"The box-office take set the record for the biggest opening day of any movie, and it was also the biggest single-day gross ever."