The US leader of Internet piracy group IMAGiNE, which for two years distributed unauthorized versions of theatrical films online, has been sentenced to five years in jail.
In addition to his prison term, Jeramiah B. Perkins was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution for criminal copyright conspiracy.
Last year, Perkins pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement.
According to a representative of the Motion Picture Association of America, IMAGiNE was the most prolific motion picture piracy group operating on the Internet from 2009 to 2011.
According to court documents, Perkins directed and participated in using receivers and recording devices in movie theaters to secretly capture the audio sound tracks of copyrighted movies. Perkins synchronized the audio files with illegally recorded video files to create completed movie files, which were then shared on the Internet among members of IMAGiNE.
The man admitted he was renting computer servers in France and elsewhere for use by IMAGiNE, the Department of Justice said.
He also admitted to registering domain names for use by IMAGiNE, opening email and PayPal accounts to receive donations and payments from persons downloading or buying IMAGiNE releases of pirated copies of films.