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Post Deadpool movie on facebook, GO TO JAIL?

Posted by Steve Vondran | Sep 17, 2018 | 0 Comments

Attorney Steve® Internet Law Essentials – Posting Movies on Social Media can lead to SERIOUS legal problems, including potential imprisonment.

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INTERNET FILE SHARING WARNING – Case 2:17-cr-00206-JAK (Central District of California)

We have been telling people to talk to your kids about illegal; file sharing on the internet.  In many cases we deal with at our IP law firm (such as Malibu Media and Strike 3 Holdings, LLC movies) the penalties are extensive fines and financial settlements.  However, it is important to know that if you are caught posting files on the internet, you could face JAIL TIME.  This is a harsh penalty for merely posting a bootleg movie online, but in a recent case a person from Fresno (22 year old) posted a copy of the movie DEADPOOL online and he was apparently warned not to do it by other facebook users.  Over 6 million people reportedly saw the post (amazing public appetite for movies right)?

At any rate, he did not take down the post and eventually the FBI investigated and charged the man with illegal infringement.  The United States Government has recommended a 6 month jail sentence to try to deter people from doing this in the future.

Again, it is important to talk to your kids about internet file sharing, torrenting, and copyright infringement.  This technology was not around when I was a kid, and certainly was not a topic of conversation around the dinner table.  But folks, the times are-a-changing.  It's time to have the talk.  It could potentially keep your kids out of jail.  I don't think this kid was seriously trying to hurt the movie producer or production company or MPAA.  Kids don't think about these things sometimes.  Its a harsh reminder that you can get in BIG TROUBLE with copyright law very easily where music, video, software and other big businesses are monitoring the internet looking to stop pirating of their creative content.

I hope the kid gets a fair deal, but he has reached a plea deal as to a misdemeanor.  These types of things can prevent you from getting jobs in the future, and can hurt your chances, for example, to get a real estate license, stock broker license, law license, etc.

Federal Indictment

HERE IS A LINK TO AN ARTICLE ABOUT THE INDICTMENT (From the U.S. Department of Justice website) which notes:

“LOS ANGELES – A Fresno man was arrested this morning on a federal criminal charge of copyright infringement that alleges he posted the movie “Deadpool” to his Facebook page.

          As a result of the illegal upload, more than 5 million people were able to view the film copyrighted by the Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

          Trevon Maurice Franklin, 21, who used the screen name “Tre-Von M. King,” allegedly uploaded “Deadpool” approximately eight days after its February 2016 release to theaters.

          Franklin is charged in a one-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on April 7 with reproducing and distributing a copyrighted work, a felony offense that carries a statutory maximum penalty of three years in federal prison.

          An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.”

Listen to Attorney Steve® explain this concept in this podcast

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PODCAST:  Click on the image to listen to the Podcast.

Plea Deal

Here is some language from the plea deal with the government.

NATURE OF THE OFFENSE

Defendant understands that for defendant to be guilty of a violation of 17 U.S.C. § 506(a)(1)(B), 18 U.S.C. §§ 2319(a), (c)(3), a Class A misdemeanor, the following must be true (See more information about these statutes below):

(a) there was a copyright;

(b) defendant infringed that copyright by reproduction or distribution of one or more copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work within a 180-day period;

(c) the total retail value of the copyrighted work was more than $1,000;

and

(d) defendant acted willfull

“Between on or about February 20, 2016 and February 22, 2016, defendant willfully infringed the copyright of the motion picture Deadpool by reproducing and distributing more than one copy of that copyrighted work, which had a total retail value of at least $1,000. Specifically, at some point before February 20, 2016, defendant downloaded from the website www.putlocker.is an unauthorized copy of the movie Deadpool, which defendant knew he was not authorized to obtain.

On February 20, 2016, using the moniker Tre-Von M. King, defendant uploaded the unauthorized copy of Deadpool to his Facebook account.

Between February 20 and 22, 2016, while Deadpool was still in theaters and had not yet been made available for purchase by the public for home viewing, the copy of Deadpool defendant posted to his Facebook page had been viewed over 6,386,456 times.

Defendant willfully infringed the copyright held by others when he, without the authorization of the copyright holder, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (“Fox”), distributed and reproduced Deadpool by uploading it to Facebook.”

Copyright Criminal Penalties

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17 U.S.C. § 506(a)(1)(B)

Here are the federal criminal statutes at issue:

(a) Criminal Infringement.—

(1)In general.—Any person who willfully infringes a copyright shall be punished as provided under section 2319 of title 18, if the infringement was committed—

(A) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain;

(B) by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180–day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000;

or

(C) by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution. (2)Evidence.— For purposes of this subsection, evidence of reproduction or distribution of a copyrighted work, by itself, shall not be sufficient to establish willful infringement of a copyright. (3)Definition.—In this subsection, the term “work being prepared for commercial distribution” means— (A) a computer program, a musical work, a motion picture or other audiovisual work, or a sound recording, if, at the time of unauthorized distribution— (i) the copyright owner has a reasonable expectation of commercial distribution; and (ii) the copies or phonorecords of the work have not been commercially distributed; or (B) a motion picture, if, at the time of unauthorized distribution, the motion picture— (i) has been made available for viewing in a motion picture exhibition facility; and (ii) has not been made available in copies for sale to the general public in the United States in a format intended to permit viewing outside a motion picture exhibition facility.

(b)Forfeiture, Destruction, and Restitution.— Forfeiture, destruction, and restitution relating to this section shall be subject to section 2323 of title 18, to the extent provided in that section, in addition to any other similar remedies provided by law.

(c)Fraudulent Copyright Notice.— Any person who, with fraudulent intent, places on any article a notice of copyright or words of the same purport that such person knows to be false, or who, with fraudulent intent, publicly distributes or imports for public distribution any article bearing such notice or words that such person knows to be false, shall be fined not more than $2,500.

Resource:  Click here for more information about copyright crimes.

18 U.S.C. §§ 2319(a), (c)(3)

Here was the other statute cited above dealing with criminal copyright infringement.

(a) Any person who violates section 506(a) (relating to criminal offenses) of title 17 shall be punished as provided in subsections (b), (c), and (d) and such penalties shall be in addition to any other provisions of title 17 or any other law.

(b) Any person who commits an offense under section 506(a)(1)(A) of title 17— (1) shall be imprisoned not more than 5 years, or fined in the amount set forth in this title, or both, if the offense consists of the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of at least 10 copies or phonorecords, of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $2,500;

(2) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, or fined in the amount set forth in this title, or both, if the offense is a felony and is a second or subsequent offense under subsection (a); and (3) shall be imprisoned not more than 1 year, or fined in the amount set forth in this title, or both, in any other case.

(c) Any person who commits an offense under section 506(a)(1)(B) of title 17—

(1) shall be imprisoned not more than 3 years, or fined in the amount set forth in this title, or both, if the offense consists of the reproduction or distribution of 10 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of $2,500 or more;

(2) shall be imprisoned not more than 6 years, or fined in the amount set forth in this title, or both, if the offense is a felony and is a second or subsequent offense under subsection (a);

and

(3) shall be imprisoned not more than 1 year, or fined in the amount set forth in this title, or both, if the offense consists of the reproduction or distribution of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000.

(d) Any person who commits an offense under section 506(a)(1)(C) of title 17— (1) shall be imprisoned not more than 3 years, fined under this title, or both; (2) shall be imprisoned not more than 5 years, fined under this title, or both, if the offense was committed for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain; (3) shall be imprisoned not more than 6 years, fined under this title, or both, if the offense is a felony and is a second or subsequent offense under subsection (a);

and

(4) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined under this title, or both, if the offense is a felony and is a second or subsequent offense under paragraph (2). (e) (1) During preparation of the presentence report pursuant to Rule 32(c) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, victims of the offense shall be permitted to submit, and the probation officer shall receive, a victim impact statement that identifies the victim of the offense and the extent and scope of the injury and loss suffered by the victim, including the estimated economic impact of the offense on that victim. (2)Persons permitted to submit victim impact statements shall include— (A) producers and sellers of legitimate works affected by conduct involved in the offense; (B) holders of intellectual property rights in such works; and (C) the legal representatives of such producers, sellers, and holders.

Contact our Intellectual Property & Entertainment Law Firm

If you our your company are dealing with a copyright, trademark or entertainment law issue and need legal assistance, remember our motto:

You CLICK we DEFEND®

We can be reached at (877) 276-5084.

About the Author

Steve Vondran

Welcome to the SHORT BIO page for Attorney Steve®  (Yes, I was able to get a trademark for Attorney Steve®) Click here to go to a more COMPLETE BIO. AZ Bar Lic. #025911 CA. Bar Lic. #232337 Introduction I have done a lot of things in my 15 years of law practice and in my life in general.  ...

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