Pre-Release Piracy Faces Stiff Penalties

By Deane Barker on November 16, 2003

Lowering the Boom on Copycats: This doesn’t bode well for P2P. It strikes me that the combination of stiffer penalties and increased availability of legal alternatives are leading up to someone being made an example of.

Unauthorized copies of movies often turn up in flea markets and online “peer to peer” networks, such as Kazaa, shortly after they are released, thanks to audience members who smuggle camcorders into theaters. In other cases, industry insiders post movies and albums online before they are officially released, throwing promotional plans into disarray.

Both practices would become felonies under the bill, with maximum sentences of five years for first offenders, as well as monetary damages.