31 year old William Kyle Moriarty was found guilty of illegal distributing screeners of two movies, namely The Revenant and The Peanuts Movie. Moriarty has been placed under house arrest for 8 months in addition to pay up $1.12 Million for making the screeners available online before the actual title release dates.
The Justice Department established that The Revenant was downloaded by over 1 million people, causing 20th Century Fox to lose revenue up to $1 million. Moriarty, a Lancaster resident, acquired the screeners while working on one of the sets of 20th Centurty Fox studios. The screeners were copied to a portable hard-drive then released on December 17, 2015 and December 19, 2015 on BitTorrent website, Pass the Popcorn.
“… As the Academy Awards ceremony this weekend highlights, the entertainment industry is the economic cornerstone of the Central District of California. Therefore, my office is committed to protecting its intellectual property … The defendant’s conduct harmed the very industry that was providing his livelihood as well as the livelihood of others in Southern California.”
U.S. Atty. Eileen M. Decker
Although prosecutors had demanded a 1 year sentence for Moriarty, the court considered the case logically placing him under home arrest for 8 months with 2 years’ probation to follow.
20th Centurty Fox however have come out as winners with both The Revenant & the Peanuts Movie accumulating well over $800 million in revenue. The FBI, DoJ and MPAA have decided to take a strong stance following multiple cases of infringement over torrent & streaming websites.
KickAssTorrents was the latest case of infringement persecution, after the website’s owner published a music album downloaded from the Apple iTunes Store.