A Nottinghamshire man has been convicted after illegally recording newly-released films at a cinema, then posting them on the Internet.
A search of Shaun Patrick Forry home on George Street, Hucknall, found computers which showed the 34-year-old had illegally distributed in excess of 670 films online since August 2013, including some while on police bail.
All his computers, were seized after the raid and subsequently forensically examined.
Forry was the subject of a joint operation between EMSOU (the East Midlands Special Operations Unit), FACT (the Federation Against Copyright Theft) and the FCPA (Film Content Protection Agency) after information had been received about two films being illegally recorded at the Cineworld Cinema in Nottingham in September 2015.
Simon Brown, Director of the FCPA, said “This is a highly significant case concerning the illegal recording of films belonging to two UK film distributors, followed by the release of those films online.
“Over 90% of pirated films originate from a copy recorded during a public performance in cinemas worldwide, so it’s vital that offenders like Mr Forry are identified and arrested promptly to prevent further damage to our film industry.
“Piracy not only costs the film industry millions of pounds but can also affect thousands of jobs, so we welcome this conviction.”
Forry previously pleaded guilty to two counts of the possession of articles for use in fraud and one count of distributing copyrighted films. At Nottingham Crown Court on Monday 6 February 2017 he was sentenced to 18 months community order plus 150 hours unpaid work.
GAIN Coordinator Lesley Donovan said: “Our warranted officers were not only able to support the FCPA and FACT in investigating Shaun Forry, but worked together to understand the full extent of his crimes. That he continued in his illegal activities while on bail for the same offences did not help his case.”
EMSOU Detective Superintendent Andy Crouch said: “What might seem like a victimless crime at first glance actually costs the film industry millions each year and this cost is eventually felt in the pockets of cinemagoers like you and me. It’s a crime that deserves our attention.”EMSOU is a collaborative policing unit created by the Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire police forces to combat serious and organised crime, major crime, and terrorism and domestic extremism in the region.