Gilberto Sanchez, a 49 year old Bronx resident, was sentenced yesterday to 1 year in federal prison for uploading a copy of “Wolverine” to MegaUpload one month before the film’s theatrical release.
“The federal prison sentence handed down in this case sends a strong message of deterrence to would-be internet pirates,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “The Justice Department will pursue and prosecute persons who seek to steal the intellectual property of this nation.”
The ruling comes amid vigorous debate about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which would give the film and music industry far reaching new powers to combat illegal uploads of copyrighted material. Venture capitalists and tech companies, along with many of the original architects of the internet, have argued that SOPA would undermine innovation on the web and fundamentally threaten the security and stability of the internet.
The case highlights the conundrum of policing the web.
Tthe court documents state: “Although Fox was able to get defendant’s Wolverine Workprint removed from his Megaupload account within approximately one day, by then, the damage was done and the film had proliferated like wildfire throughout the internet, resulting in up to millions of infringements.”