Former studio crew member is now facing three years in Federal prison after leaking ‘The Revenant’
A former studio crew member has agreed to plead guilty to copyright infringement for illegally sharing a screener version of The Revenant six days before the movie premiered in December.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, the uploading cost 20th Century Fox over $1 million in lost revenue. According to reports, this is what happened: William Kyle Morarity obtained the screener while working at a movie studio. He copied the movie and uploaded it to a BitTorrent website called Pass the Popcorn.
According to the FBI, which investigated the case, more than a million people downloaded the film. Morarity also agreed to plead guilty to doing the same thing involving a screener of The Peanuts Movie.
As the Academy Awards ceremony this weekend highlights, the entertainment industry is the economic cornerstone of the Central District of California, said U.S. Attorney Eileen Decker. Therefore, my office is committed to protecting its intellectual property. The defendants conduct harmed the very industry that was providing his livelihood as well as the livelihood of others in Southern California.
The assistant director of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office said: Stealing movies is not a victimless crime. The FBI will continue to pursue those who steal intellectual property, a crime that negatively impacts the U.S. economy and, in the case of a movie leak, victimizes everyday workers in the entertainment industry.
He now faces a maximum of three years in a federal prison.