Two of the five charged with movie piracy ring identified as Indians (Photo: Twitter)
Movie piracy is a serious legal offence that contributes to a huge loss in the worldwide motion pictures. But, that doesn’t stop some from committing an offence that could land them behind bars or worse. According to an indictment filed in the United States District Court, two Indians are among the five men charged with running massive movie piracy ring.
Reports have it that the five conspirators broke into computer systems used by Hollywood film production companies and stole digital files, including feature films, trailers, television series episodes and audio tracks leading to that distribution of major movies and television shows prior to their official release. The suspects have now been identified as Aditya Raj and Jitesh Jadhav.
According to prosecutors, the men uploaded the hacked movies and shows onto a server in France, which contained 25,000 movie-related files, including the feature films Godzilla, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Horrible Bosses 2. In February 2015, one of the men allegedly told a potential customer that copies of the films Kingsman: The Secret Service and Fifty Shades of Grey would be available to buy on the same day the movies were to release in the US theatres.
The duo is now also accused of selling access to the stolen films via online payment company, PayPal. The suspects are alleged to have sold films to a confidential source working on behalf of the Motion Picture Association of America. The ring is alleged to have been run BollyTNT, an earlier site that hosted pirated Bollywood films.
The indictment by the United States District Court, alleges that the group had been involved in this pirating scheme since early 2013 to spring of 2015. The accused five now face seven counts of conspiracy to commit computer fraud, aggravated identity theft, and copyright infringement.
Raj and Jadhav earlier were also accused of other offences such as using a camcorder to pirate films in movie theatres in India. Other three suspects include Ghobhirajah Selvarajah, believed to be in Malaysia, is also alleged to have operated the ring's PayPal account, while Sam Nhance of Dubai is accused of running the server.
The criminal conduct allegedly began in 2013 and continued until spring 2015, the release said.
(With inputs from agencies)