Piracy = Jail Time

Civil enforcement of piracy gets a lot of press coverage, but one thing that needs to be kept in mind is there are both civil claims for copyright infringement and criminal penalties. Though rarely enforced, mainly due to a lack of resources, piracy can lead to jail time.

On the dockets right now in the United States there are several such cases, one being U.S. v. Brown. 14-CV-00080, N.D.Iowa. Based on court documents, Mr. Brown was caught with about 1,500 copies of movies and about 500 songs, all in violation of U.S. Copyright Law. He was charged under 18 USC 2319, which provides for five years in prison for a first offense.

It appears that in August of 2014, Mr. Brown plead guilty and is awaiting sentencing.  While not clear from public documents, it also appears the recommendation is for one year but a petition has been filed by Mr. Brown’s attorney for a reduced sentence.

Whether Mr. Brown goes to prison for 5 years, 1 year, or 6 months, as per Mr. Browns’ attorney’s request for leniency, “Let us not forget that as a result of this conviction Mr. Brown is now a felon and has lost countless rights and privileges as a result.”

Sentencing is currently set for July 16, 2015.

Relevant Documents:

U.S. v. Brown. 14-CV-00080, N.D.Iowa.–Information Complaint

U.S. v. Brown. 14-CV-00080, N.D.Iowa.–Recommendation on Guilty Plea

One Thought on “Piracy = Jail Time

  1. To call it “piracy” is a bit overboard. It’s more like a big scale for-profit counterfeiting.

    A huge leap from a situation when a student is accused of torrenting porn.

Leave a Reply

Post Navigation