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Don't forget about criminal sanctions for violating US Copyright law

November 5, 2018

Mr. Trevon Franklin committed a trifecta of bad decisions when thumbed his nose at US Copyright law.
 

First, he downloaded a pirated copy of Deadpool soon after its release in the US on February 12, 2016.  Second, he uploaded the pirated copy to Facebook while it was still in theaters, and it had 6,386,456 views.  Third, he willfully ignored warnings from other Facebook users that doing so was unlawful.

 

Because of the nature of his copyright violation, the government pursued his copyright violations under criminal law. 17 U.S.C. § 506(a)(1)(B).  In 2017, he was indicted and arrested (see link) for a felony violation of copyright law and he faced up to 3 years in prison (17 U.S.C. § 2319(c)(1)) and a $250,000 fine (18 U.S.C. § 3571(b)).  In May 2018, Mr. Franklin pled guilty (see copy of plea agreement) to a Class A misdemeanor for which the potential penalties are up to 1 year in prison (17 U.S.C. § 2319(c)(3)) and a $100,000 fine (18 U.S.C. § 3571(b)). 

 

In its sentencing position report, the US Government recommended a six month prison term, one year of supervised release, and a mandatory special assessment of $100 (see copy of sentencing report, hosted on Mega.nz).

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