December 6, 2012

The end of last week’s reports listed a rather unfortunate record – the longest prison sentence for file sharing offences to date:Gregory Cherwonik, one of the members of the BitTorrent release group “iMAGiNE” was sentenced to 40 months in jail and ordered to pay damage compensation to the MPAA of $15,000

Earlier this year Cherwonik pleaded guilty to copyright infringement charges and a few days ago he received a $15,000 fine he must pay to the MPAA ; however, the real blow was the 40 months in jail sentence, the harshest ever given in such cases. Reportedly, Cherwonik’s ‘privileged’ in length sentence was due to him being higher in rank than other members sentenced in November to 23- and 30-month jail terms.

According to the copyright infringement charges thrown at the iMAGINE group, the latter accounted for 41 percent of all “English-language theatrical audio piracy” between September 2009 and September 2011. Wired has made available an indictment (pdf) which shows some tactics used by the group such as using different locations to record camcorder footage and capture “high-quality” audio.