37-year-old Patrick Lashun King, of Hazlehurst, Mississippi, has been sentenced to 15 years in jail and an additional three years of supervised release for selling counterfeit movies and music. Although this sentence might appear harsh, representatives of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) welcome the decision.
“This sentencing demonstrates that theft of intellectual property is treated as a serious crime in Mississippi and highlights the fact that the individuals engaging in these activities are frequently serial criminals for whom IP theft is simply the most convenient and profitable way they could steal from others,” said Brad Buckles, executive VP of Anti-Piracy at RIAA.
“We extend our thanks and appreciation to Attorney General Hood for his leadership in IP enforcement and to the dedicated law enforcement officers and prosecutors who worked on the case.”
According to TorrentFreak, the man was detained after representatives of the Attorney General’s Intellectual Property Theft Task Force had purchased a number of five DVDs containing movies and a music CD from him.
Later, when they searched his workplace and his residence, they uncovered over 10,000 pirated disks.
King admitted to selling the five movies and the music CD but, apparently, that didn’t count too much.
This is not the first time when King has run-ins with the law. When he was 20, he was sentenced to 5 years in jail for assaulting a police officer.
Furthermore, in 2003, he spent one year under house arrest for piracy.
However, 15 years in prison seems a lot for copying movies and music. Prison sentences and large fines are not uncommon for digital pirates, but this is an impressive leap from what we’ve seen so far.