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Illegal File-Sharer Handed Record Prison Sentence

By - Source: Wired | B 39 comments

Head of IMAGiNE group distributed camcorded movies online.

Illegal file-sharer Jeramiah Perkins has been handed the longest prison sentence ever given in a U.S. file-sharing lawsuit of five years.

U.S. District judge Arenda Wright Allen sentenced the leader, who is 40 years old, of the IMAGiNE file-sharing group to a record prison term for camcording movies in the theater and then distributing them on the internet.

Perkins, otherwise known as Butch Perkins, Stash and theestas, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement by file-sharing movies, music, games and more mediums through the web.

He was the leader of a group that went to theaters, recorded the movies through camcorders, recorded the audio, synchronized the files and then subsequently distributed it on the internet. IMAGiNE became one of the most prolific piracy release groups on the planet between 2009 and 2011.

"The conspirators informally identified themselves as the IMAGiNE Group and sought, among other things, to be the premier group to first release to the Internet copies of new motion pictures only showing in movie theaters," IMAGiNE's indictment reads. "It was further a part of the conspiracy to use computer software to digitally refine and to edit the video and audio portions of a motion picture and to combine or synchronize the two components into audiovisual movie files."

According to the indictment, the group focused on making movies available before the public release of DVDs. IMAGiNE rented servers in France, Canada and the United States, as well as hosting a number of websites, including "unleashthe.net".

The sites included a torrent tracker, member profiles, discussion forums, a message board and news. IMAGiNE obtained revenue via donations and and payments stemming from the downloads of the copyrighted products. Included in the list of movies pirated by the group were "Friends With Benefits," "Captain America: The First Avenger" and "Avatar," the latter being the highest grossing movie of all time ($2.78 billion).

Five members of Perkins' group were also found guilty and have consequently been handed prison sentences for being involved in IMAGiNE. Co-defendant Gregory Cherwonik received 40 months, Sean Lovelady was given 23 months, while Willie Lambert received a 30 month sentence. The fifth defendant is set to be sentenced in March.

 

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  • 24 Hide
    ChiefScooter , January 5, 2013 3:21 AM
    @zargonog, I see Carl's confusion. The wording is a little wonky. It almost reads that the lawsuit was 5 years long. If you take just the last portion of the sentence, you will see what I mean, "U.S. file-sharing lawsuit of five years."
  • 22 Hide
    kingnoobe , January 5, 2013 9:43 AM
    "Friends With Benefits," "Captain America: The First Avenger" and "Avatar," the latter being the highest grossing movie of all time ($2.78 billion)."

    Yep piracy sure are hurting these movies.

    I'm not saying it's should be legal to take a cam in or anything like that, but the lawsuits pirates get faced with, and these guys jail time. Come on there are drunk drivers that literally kill people that spend less time in jail. I know personally one guy who hit and killed a little girl and only spent one year in jail. Seriously give me a break.
  • 22 Hide
    zargonog , January 5, 2013 4:23 AM
    Indeed, it does need some punctuation!
Other Comments
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , January 5, 2013 3:07 AM
    You give the prison sentence to everyone but the guy the article is about...
  • 5 Hide
    zargonog , January 5, 2013 3:10 AM
    @carl, says right in the first sentence, 5 years.

    Not too out of line IMO, they will get out quicker from good behavior and such. too bad they will be someones bitch though.
  • 24 Hide
    ChiefScooter , January 5, 2013 3:21 AM
    @zargonog, I see Carl's confusion. The wording is a little wonky. It almost reads that the lawsuit was 5 years long. If you take just the last portion of the sentence, you will see what I mean, "U.S. file-sharing lawsuit of five years."
  • 22 Hide
    zargonog , January 5, 2013 4:23 AM
    Indeed, it does need some punctuation!
  • 5 Hide
    abbadon_34 , January 5, 2013 6:24 AM
    Wow, this Zal Islam guys really fucked up this article, I had to reread twice to figure it out. But at least it suckle at the Apple teet. But seriously, CAM's are no threat to the movie industry, they never have been, if anything boost sales after someone see the crappy CAM then wants the full version. And go after those exploting these BS CAM on the street corner of Deli or HK or Shanghai, those MAKING MONEY, not those enjoying for there own PERSONAL (read FAIR) USA.
  • 13 Hide
    rantoc , January 5, 2013 9:02 AM
    abbadon_34But seriously, CAM's are no threat to the movie industry, they never have been, if anything boost sales after someone see the crappy CAM then wants the full version.


    If its a good movie then defiantly. However if its a trash movie and their trying to fool people into buying it with a few fancy trailers they don't want the cards on the table....
  • 8 Hide
    zoemayne , January 5, 2013 9:27 AM
    Quote:
    The fifth defendant is set to be sentenced in March.


    Thats the snitch.
  • 22 Hide
    kingnoobe , January 5, 2013 9:43 AM
    "Friends With Benefits," "Captain America: The First Avenger" and "Avatar," the latter being the highest grossing movie of all time ($2.78 billion)."

    Yep piracy sure are hurting these movies.

    I'm not saying it's should be legal to take a cam in or anything like that, but the lawsuits pirates get faced with, and these guys jail time. Come on there are drunk drivers that literally kill people that spend less time in jail. I know personally one guy who hit and killed a little girl and only spent one year in jail. Seriously give me a break.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 5, 2013 10:53 AM
    they sacrificed huge parts of their lives for us to have the freedom to check out a movie in $hitty quality before going to the theater and leaving money there for good. I ALWAYS watch good movies in a movie theater because it's a great experience but if a movie is trash I don't want to support it. these men are true american heroes. they improved our lives (even if just a bit) while wallstreet continues to destroy them but those crooks don't go to jail - they get paid for it. sad
  • 6 Hide
    demonhorde665 , January 5, 2013 10:54 AM
    kingnoobe"Friends With Benefits," "Captain America: The First Avenger" and "Avatar," the latter being the highest grossing movie of all time ($2.78 billion)."Yep piracy sure are hurting these movies. I'm not saying it's should be legal to take a cam in or anything like that, but the lawsuits pirates get faced with, and these guys jail time. Come on there are drunk drivers that literally kill people that spend less time in jail. I know personally one guy who hit and killed a little girl and only spent one year in jail. Seriously give me a break.



    the US legal system is FUBAR, consider the fact that in the 80's they sentenced a 12 year old boy , to life in prision for killing his sister .. after he spent about 30+ years in prison they turn around and find out that his sister was killed by some homeless psyhco. the cops , the state nor the federal goveremnt ever gave the guy an offical apology of any kind. yeah ... i have no faith in the US justice system at all. i'm not saying these guys need lighter time .. they did do the crime in this case .. but f--- there is a serious imbalance in what punishment this or that person receives.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 5, 2013 1:01 PM
    He should have just waited for those movies to hit KAT. lol
  • 2 Hide
    Camikazi , January 5, 2013 1:24 PM
    soldier2013He should have just waited for those movies to hit KAT. lol

    These are some of the people who put the movies on KAT to begin with, if they all waited no one would ever see any torrents :p 
  • -4 Hide
    in_the_loop , January 5, 2013 3:28 PM
    I don't think prisontime should be given for this type of crime if they didn't make any money from it.
    The movie studios of said films made a fortune, BUT the sentence reads:

    Quote:
    IMAGiNE obtained revenue via donations and and payments stemming from the downloads of the copyrighted products

    I hate it when guys like this makes money from pirated stuff(but I'm not againts filesharing since it doesn't hurt the industry like it is proposed, the bigget downloaders also consume/buy the most).

    That is no better than the guy in the streetcorner in some Asian countries selling pirated stuff.
    I feel exactly the same about Kim Dotcom, who also made a fortune on pirated stuff.
  • 1 Hide
    kinggremlin , January 5, 2013 3:48 PM
    demonhorde665the US legal system is FUBAR, consider the fact that in the 80's they sentenced a 12 year old boy , to life in prision for killing his sister .. after he spent about 30+ years in prison they turn around and find out that his sister was killed by some homeless psyhco. the cops , the state nor the federal goveremnt ever gave the guy an offical apology of any kind. yeah ... i have no faith in the US justice system at all. i'm not saying these guys need lighter time .. they did do the crime in this case .. but f--- there is a serious imbalance in what punishment this or that person receives.


    You failed to mention that most places have laws in place for compensating the wrongfully accused. Depending on how long they were in jail, these settlements can often reach into the millions of dollars. That doesn't make up for their lost time in jail, but being compensated a huge sum of money is certainly better than having someone say their were sorry for screwing up which would be pretty meaningless to me if I were in that situation.
  • 1 Hide
    beayn , January 5, 2013 3:49 PM
    The Highest grossing movie of all time at 2.78 billion dollars could have made a few million more if the few people who actually watched a Cam and then didn't go to the theater or buy the movie didn't have the option of downloading a cam. I mean come on, this is just totally beyond criminal. These people should be executed let alone just getting 5 years in jail. I can't believe they STOLE that money from the producers of those movies without even feeling any guilt about it.

    /sarcasm

    While I don't think it should be legal to pirate stuff or make a profit off the pirated stuff, they really go overboard with these cases. Cams are junk. All they do is let the person know if the movie sucks or not. If it's good, they go to the theater. If it's bad, they don't. If they would never have bought the movie to begin with, it makes no difference. The only movies Cam piracy matters to are bad movies just like someone mentioned above.

    (Apparently I can't say "this" to agree with someone, I must repeat the comment).



  • 1 Hide
    fuzzion , January 5, 2013 3:58 PM
    Thats a little harsh.
  • 1 Hide
    JonnyDough , January 5, 2013 4:40 PM
    rantocIf its a good movie then defiantly. However if its a trash movie and their trying to fool people into buying it with a few fancy trailers they don't want the cards on the table....


    Your grammar is trash. Try a dictionary next time...for each word.
  • 2 Hide
    zeratul600 , January 5, 2013 4:50 PM
    Isn't it nice when some child rapers are unleashed on the streets or have shorter sentences than those guys? man i love how they spent money and resources getting those guys while some childs are running from some goddamn psycho
  • 2 Hide
    cliftonphotographer , January 5, 2013 5:40 PM
    Kill a Google engineer driving drunk?
    Get 4 years in Jail!

    http://www.geekwire.com/2012/drunk-driver-killed-google-engineer-sentenced-year-maximum/

    File-share a movie that made over a billion dollars?
    Go to Jail for FIVE YEARS!

    Welcome to American Justice!

    (Personally I'd give them 2 years just for sharing "Friends With Benefits". Watching THAT MOVIE is a CRIME!)
  • 0 Hide
    madooo12 , January 5, 2013 6:14 PM
    kingnoobe"Friends With Benefits," "Captain America: The First Avenger" and "Avatar," the latter being the highest grossing movie of all time ($2.78 billion)."Yep piracy sure are hurting these movies. I'm not saying it's should be legal to take a cam in or anything like that, but the lawsuits pirates get faced with, and these guys jail time. Come on there are drunk drivers that literally kill people that spend less time in jail. I know personally one guy who hit and killed a little girl and only spent one year in jail. Seriously give me a break.

    OK that's insane, a guy killed a little girl and only spent a year in jail (nothing), and a pirate who only recorded movies in theaters got 5

    and they actually paid to watch the movie!

    I don't want to live in this world anymore!
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