MUMBAI: A Missouri man was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Kansas City to 24 months in federal prison for illegally trafficking in counterfeit DVDs after using a recording device to illegally record The Dark Knight. Judge Fernando J. Gaitan also ordered the defendant, Robert Henderson of Grandview, Mo., to pay $24,738 in restitution. Henderson’s prison sentence will be followed by three years probation.
"The theft of films by camcording is a serious threat to the health of the motion picture industry and the 2.4 million Americans it employs," said MPAA sr. vice president Content Protection chief of operations Mike Robinson. "This is an appropriate sentence for a very serious crime, and we hope it will serve as a warning to would-be movie thieves that they will face severe consequences for engaging in these activities."
Henderson pleaded guilty to criminal copyright infringement for using a digital camera to record The Dark Knight on July 18, 2008, when he was apprehended as part of an investigation by the MPAA.
"We are grateful to everyone involved in the apprehension and prosecution of this defendant and want to particularly thank Beth Phillips, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri; Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew P. Wolesky; the Lee’s Summit Police Department; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation," continued Robinson.
The Family Entertainment and Copyright Act enacted in 2005 made camcording in a theater a federal felony (camcording in theaters is also prohibited by many state statutes) and established new penalties for pirating works that have not yet been released commercially. First-time violators can be sentenced to three and five years, respectively, for these crimes and fined up to $250,000