The UK Cinema Association has welcomed the conviction of a Nottinghamshire man accused of illegally recording films at a local cinema and then posting them on the Internet.
Shaun Patrick Forry, who had pleaded guilty to two counts of the possession of articles for use in fraud and one count of distributing copyrighted films, was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court to 18 months community order plus 150 hours unpaid work.
Forry had been the subject of a joint operation between EMSOU (the East Midlands Special Operations Unit), FACT (the Federation Against Copyright Theft) and the FCPA (Film Content Protection Agency), launched after information had been received about two films — American Ultra and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials — being illegally recorded at the Cineworld Cinema in Nottingham in September 2015.
Search warrants were executed at Forry’s home, with various items, including computers, seized and subsequently forensically examined. The computers showed the 34-year-old had illegally distributed in excess of 670 films online since August 2013, including some while on police bail.
Commenting on the conviction, Simon Brown, Director of the FCPA, said
“This is a highly significant case concerning the illegal recording of films belonging to two UK film distributors, followed by the release of those films online.
“Over 90 per cent of pirated films originate from a copy recorded during a public performance in cinemas worldwide, so it’s vital that offenders like Mr Forry are identified and arrested promptly to prevent further damage to our film industry.
“Piracy not only costs the film industry millions of pounds but can also affect thousands of jobs, so we welcome this conviction. We thank the East Midlands GAIN for their diligent assistance in this case.”
EMSOU’s Government Agency Intelligence Network is a multi-agency approach to law enforcement bringing together intelligence held by various agencies to identify a fuller picture of legal and regulatory breaches by an individual.