Turns out law enforcement officials are taking those “you wouldn’t steal a handbag” anti-piracy ads seriously. According to Wired, Jermiah Perkins — a leader in the camcorder in theater gang iMAGiNE — has been handed a five year prison sentence for helping to record and distribute movies online during their theatrical run.
The 40 year old is one of five members of the group to have pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement. His sentence sets a new record for the offense, surpassing that of Gregory A. Cherwonik, 53, his co-defendant in the case.
According to the Motion Picture Association of America, the iMAGiNE is infamous for the “short latency periods between the theatrical release and their pirated release, their consistently good quality of audio captures, their high volume of releases, and their connection to international suppliers.”
The court indictment also says the group sought “to be the premier group to first release to the internet copies of new motion pictures only showing in movie theaters”.
In his plea agreement, it was revealed that Perkins rented servers in France and other places and also set up domain names, created email accounts and PayPal accounts “to receive donations and payments from persons downloading or buying IMAGiNE Group releases of pirated copies of motion pictures and other copyrighted works”.
The films uploaded include The Men Who Stare at Goats, Avatar, and Captain America.