3 Years of Jail for Uploading "24"?
You might want to think twice before uploading anything onto the Internet. Remember the guy who youtubed the entire 6th season premiere of FOX's "24" including the L.A. nuclear explosion twist before it actually aired? He may be going to jail for 3 years.
According to Hollywood trade press, Jorge Romero, 24, of Chicago, is accused of uploading four "24" episodes he discovered in January at an unspecified location online and posting them on LiveDigital.com 8 days before their primetime premiere.
The FBI's criminal complaint charges Romero "with uploading copyrighted material to a publicly accessible computer network knowing the work was intended for commercial distribution, a felony that carries a statutory maximum sentence of three years in federal prison."
Twentieth Century Fox, which produces "24," issued a statement supporting the FBI investigation.
"We are grateful to the FBI and U.S. Attorney's offices in Los Angeles for aggressively pursuing this matter, and we hope it will serve as a powerful warning that uploading copyrighted TV shows and movies to the Internet can be a crime with significant penalties and will be prosecuted as such.
In January, Fox served both LiveDigital and YouTube with a subpoena demanding they disclose the identity of the user who had uploaded episodes of "24" and "The Simpsons."
Romero is not accused of placing the episodes on the Internet, but facilitating their distribution once they were already put there by an unspecified party. Romero admitted to the FBI in an April interview that he had found the episodes online.
The Fox statement continues, "Video-hosting sites such as LiveDigital.com and YouTube are not copyright-free zones, and individuals like Jorge Romero who post episodes of television shows, particularly before they are even broadcast for the first time, will face harsh civil and criminal sanctions."
You don't think Romero will stay a fan of "24," do you?
Obviously, a lot of people upload copyrighted clips all over the Internet every single day.
What made this case special was that the guy didn't only post a clip, he went for the whole shabang. And he did so before the show even aired.
I do wonder at this point however, given the global scale of the Internet, what would have happened had those episodes not been uploaded from the U.S. soil.
Full episodes of US shows are regularly available on a number of websites across the world (including many Chinese locations and a popular French one).
@ TELEVISIONISTA: Home
@ TELEVISIONISTA: Home