Briton's illegal recording of movie downloaded 700,000 times

London - A 25-year-old man was jailed for 33 months after recording Fast And Furious 6 in a cinema and selling copies of the film from his Facebook page, British media reported.

A judge in Wolverhampton crown court heard that Philip Danks used a camcorder to record the movie in a cinema in Walsall, West Midlands, in May last year, on the day it was released worldwide.

He uploaded it on his Facebook page the following day, from whence the film was downloaded more than 700,000 times.

Mr Ari Alibhai, prosecuting on behalf of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact) said: "The estimated loss to the industry caused by the defendant's actions is conservatively estimated at £2.3 million (S$4.7 million)," The Daily Mail reported last Friday.

In addition to uploading the film, Danks also offered to sell copies of it for £1.50, "alongside other well-known films such as Iron Man 3", Fact said, according to a report in The Guardian.

Danks used the online name "TheCod3r" for the uploads, which helped investigators trace him.

He was arrested five days after the release of Fast And Furious 6, but he continued to copy, sell and distribute illegal copies of movies while he was on police bail.

Two days after his arrest, he took to Facebook to brag that he was the first person in the world to pirate a copy of the movie, The Mail said.

Judge Keith Raynor described Danks' actions as "bold, arrogant and cocksure".

Danks' conviction was welcomed by the Cinema Exhibitors' Association, The Guardian said.

Mr Phil Clapp, its chief executive, said the sentence "gives an important message on the increasing seriousness with which our courts rightly view film theft".

The court also sentenced another man, Michael Bell, in relation to the crime.

Bell, the former boyfriend of Danks' sister, had played a part in uploading material, the court ruled. It sentenced him to a community order for 120 hours' unpaid work, the BBC said.

This article was published on Aug 24 in The Straits Times.

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