Pirated Simpsons video filmed on mobile

Posted by Hitarth Jani | 3:47 AM | 1 comments »


A still from The Simpsons Movie.

A 21-year-old man from the western Sydney suburb of Prairiewood faces up to five years' imprisonment after he was charged with uploading a pirated copy of The Simpsons Movie on the internet.

Adrianne Pecotic, executive director of the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft, said it was the first illegal copy of the hit movie to be intercepted anywhere in the world.

Police alleged the man illegally filmed the movie via a mobile phone on July 26, the first day of release, and within hours had uploaded the footage onto the internet.

The man was arrested in a raid on his home yesterday and charged by Federal Police with copyright theft after information provided to the AFP by the movie's producer, 20th Century Fox in the US.

Pecotic said the illegal footage was removed within two hours, but not before it was downloaded about 3000 times.

The file quickly spread to BitTorrent sites and other file sharing networks and within 72 hours had been downloaded by another 110,000 people.

"Whenever a movie is released investigators are trawling the internet looking to take down illegal copies," said Pecotic.

She said although recording cinema footage using a mobile phone may appear to be a relatively harmless act, camera technology had advanced to the point where users could "do a lot of damage" with their mobile phone.

Over 90 per cent of newly released movies that illegally appeared on the internet originated from a camcorder, she said, and pirates were increasingly ditching handycams for smaller mobile phones.

"Unauthorised recording of cinemas is increasing and police have attended seven reported incidents of camcording across three states in the last six weeks, and more than half of those were using mobile phones," she said.

A single illegal recording could spread around the world within hours because organised piracy groups were constantly scouring the web for the first versions of films to become available, after which they re-format it to facilitate file sharing and copying to CD or DVD, she said.

AFACT says piracy costs the industry millions of dollars in lost revenue each year and threatens Australian jobs, filmmakers, cinemas, DVD stores and investment in future films.

The man, whose name has not been released, is due to appear before the Downing Centre Local Court on October 2.

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