Man Gets A Year Of Jail Time For Pirating X-Men Origins: Wolverine
The FBI finally got their guy! And it's… a Bronx resident named Gilberto Sanchez who uploaded a pirated copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine online in 2009? Not the most terrifying of offenders, and certainly not deserving of a year in federal prison. But that's what Deadline reports.
Sanchez's sentencing follows 4-5 years of piracy; court documents say that he's been regularly uploading pirated movies online and “did not appear remorseful” when all the charges were brought against him. Of course, Wolverine was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back since it was such a hyped-up movie and Sanchez posted it to Megaupload a full month before the theatrical release back in 2009.
Even after 20th Century Fox was able to take down the original “workprint,” it had been copied over millions of times (they claim). The best part is that the movie turned out to be pretty shitty. Though some of the commenters on the Deadline article applaud the decision, at least one person purporting to be in “the biz” calls out Hollywood for a far too harsh sentence:
Jesus, you make me embarrassed to admit we work in the same industry.
No, this wasn’t too lenient a sentence. This was far too harsh a sentence. When our “solution” to piracy is prison and attempted censorship of the entire internet, maybe we’re taking light entertainment a little too seriously. Especially when the kind of real criminal behavior that decimates the middle class is what actually hurts our industry – and yet on that topic we’re silent.
So yes, while people are losing their houses, jobs, retirements, and families, let’s crow about how someone getting a year in prison for uploading a mediocre franchise sequel is “to lenient” – because we don’t have enough problems with our audiences (aka customers) thinking that we’re out of touch, greedy bastards already.
This story has another victim, in an interesting story: FoxNews.com columnist Roger Friedman lost his job in 2009 when he wrote a column admitting that he had watched the workprint. Although he deleted the post and later clarified that he had stumbled upon the movie and streamed rather than downloaded it, that wasn't enough to convince Fox to keep him on.
And yet, wouldn't he have been criticized for not jumping on that opportunity for pageviews? But that's another issue for another time.