Five individuals suspected of leaking pre-release copies of movies made by Disney, Warner Bros. and Universal have been sentenced to jail and ordered to pay damages totaling over $1.4 million (€1.1 million) by a court in Paris.
– some of them working under the CiNEFOX name since 2005 – attracted the attention of copyright holders back in 2007.
At the middle of 2008, three members of CiNEFOX and two of another pirate collective called Carnage were arrested
During the court hearings, which started earlier this month, the suspects were appointed as being on the top of the “piracy pyramid,” TorrentFreak reports
The studios accused the groups of leaking hundreds of motion pictures. Although, officially they were accused of leaking 56 movies, it’s believed that Carnage actually released copies of over 2,000 films.
CiNEFOX, on the other hand, was accused of leaking 504 movies, including Mission Impossible 3, Jumper, X-Men and 10,000 BC.
Furthermore, some of the suspects were accused of operating “topsite” servers, the ones used to share theater movie recordings and DVDs that were unavailable for the public at the time.
One of the defendants - who owned a movie theater pass that gave him unlimited access - admitted to have utilized a hearing aid device in order to capture audio content with the purpose of splicing it onto international versions of the film.
He claimed that everything was a game to them, his lawyer stating that they didn’t make any money from their illegal activities.
The members of CiNEFOX have been sentenced to six-month suspended prison sentences, being ordered to pay 710,000 EUR ($915,000) in damages. A fine of 410,000 EUR ($530,000) and three-, respectively four-month suspended prison sentences have been given to the two Carnage pirates