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NEWS: Eight Charged in Star Wars Movie Theft

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posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 05:18 AM
Eight people were charged by federal officials for illegally distributing the movie Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith over the Internet. The pirated copy was traced back to an editing facility in Lakewood, CA that had worked on the movie. Studios claim they lose up to $3.5 billion in revenues a year to piracy.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Federal officials on Tuesday charged eight people with several crimes related to the illegal theft, copying and Internet distribution of hit movie, "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith."

The movie, which was the final installment made in the lucrative series of "Star Wars" films by director George Lucas, debuted in theaters worldwide to huge media fanfare in May.

But before it ever opened, an illegally made copy could be downloaded from the Internet, and that copy was traced back to an editing facility in Lakewood, California.

The charges come as moviemakers wage a battle against illegally copying and distributing movies on video, DVD and the Internet. Hollywood's studios claim they lose $3.5 billion in annual revenue due to piracy and are worried about losing billions more if swapping films on the Web becomes common.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This was an unusual case since the copy widely available on the Internet was clearly from an inside source, not from some guy in a theater with a camcorder. It looks from the source like these defendents are pleading guilty and will get up to 3 years in prison.

[edit on 9/28/2005 by djohnsto77]

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