Canadian gets prison time for movie pirating

Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:40pm EDT
 
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VANCOUVER (Reuters) - A Montreal man that police described as one of Canada's biggest movie pirates was sentenced to two and a half months in prison on Tuesday for distributing copies of films he secretly recorded in theaters.

Geremi Adam, who had pleaded guilty, is the first Canadian to be sentenced to prison for a violating copyright laws that were tightened amid complaints from Hollywood that Canada had become a hotbed of movie piracy.

The Quebec provincial court also ordered Adam to complete 100 hours of community service, and he was barred from entering a movie theater in Canada for two years and prohibited from having recording equipment outside of home or work.

Police who arrested Adam for illegally copying and distributing two films via the Internet, said at the time the FBI considered him to be one of Canada's biggest movie pirates.

The Canadian Association of Film Distributors and Exporters praised the sentence, saying piracy cost jobs in the movie production industry and related businesses.

"We are pleased that the court proceedings acknowledged the seriousness of the offense and the negative impact of Mr Adam's actions," Patrick Roy, chief executive of Alliance Vivafilm, said in a written statement.

Prosecutors had asked the Quebec court to sentence Adam to four months in prison, but his lawyers had requested he serve only community service.

Adam was already being held in custody awaiting his sentence. The court's ruling adds only seven days to the time he has served.

(Reporting Allan Dowd; editing by Rob Wilson)