Montreal film pirate gets nine weeks behind bars
Geremi Adam, a Montreal film pirate who uploaded high-quality bootlegged films to the Internet, was sentenced Tuesday to nine weeks behind bars plus 100 hours of community service.
The jail sentence is the first of its kind in Canada for the man once considered by the FBI to be among the most prolific movie pirates in North America.
"I think it's a strong message that if you try to do something like Geremi Adam did, you will face the consequences. You could go to jail," said crown prosecutor Josee Belanger.
Adam, 28, had pleaded guilty earlier to two counts under the Copyright Act, for distributing pirated Hollywood films on the Internet.
He operated under the Internet alias maVen and uploaded some of the highest quality pirated films. The FBI believes he illegally copied dozens of films.
The movies were then distributed for a fee by a network.
"(The FBI) knew the movies were coming from Montreal. That's why they worked hard to grab him," said defence lawyer Richard Brouillard.
Outside the courtroom Tuesday, media companies said they were pleased with the strong sentence.
"I'm happy because it's a first time we have prison sentence for this, and I think it's enough to dissuade people," said Brigitte Melancon of Alliance Vivafilm.
Despite the sentence, Adam will be released from prison March 23, because he's been incarcerated since January on other charges.
In 2006, Adam was arrested twice for taping two movies at a Guzzo Cinema and uploading them on to the internet.
Two years later, while his court case was still pending, Adam was caught at the Scotia Bank Cinema downtown doing the same.
The Harper government introduced Bill C-59 in June 2007. It made recording a movie without permission a crime punishable by two years in jail.
Taping a film for future sale or rental carries a maximum five-year jail term.