It is quite unlikely that somebody would be naïve enough to upload a copy of a newly released movie on his Facebook page with his real name since this would lead the law enforcement straight to the person, that too, in no time. However, it seems that there is one such person and his name is Trevon Franklin.
Franklin, a 22-year old resident of Fresno, California, was arrested in June 2017 for posting the movie Deadpool on his Facebook page only a week after the movie was released in the theatres. Due to his wrongdoing, millions of people got to watch the movie for free on Facebook.
The movie was posted by Franklin using the account Tre-Von M. King on Facebook, and it was uploaded via a website called Putlocker. The movie was viewed over 6 million times (6,386,456 views to be precise) after which the illegal upload was noticed by the FBI and 20th Century Fox. Franklin was easily identified and arrested.
In May 2018, Franklin pled guilty to a Class A misdemeanor and entered a plea agreement with the government according to which he was to be given reduced sentence. The government filed the recommended sentence last week and a California court will soon be sentencing the accused. It is expected that Franklin will be imprisoned for half a year or 6 months, as recommended by the government.
The sentencing recommendation according to TorrentFreak, was filed on 12 September by the government, which read:
“The government recommends the high-end sentence of six months’ imprisonment, to be followed by a one-year term of supervised release, and a mandatory special assessment of $100.”
According to court documents, Franklin “flouted the law in a brazen and public manner.” Franklin was also accused of distributing 10 physical copies of the movie Deadpool, which were worth $2,500. The document further stated that a majority of Facebook users did tell Franklin that it was illegal to post the movie, in response to which Franklin claimed that he cannot be punished. In one of his replies, he wrote:
“I got the ultimate way out of this, yall might be surprised on how I won’t go to jail but just become more famous.”
He also created a Facebook group by the name Bootleg Movies where he bragged about posting more new movies soon. This is why the government decided to address the issue citing that it was a serious offense and the accused had no respect for the law.
This is not the first time when authorities have arrested someone for uploading content on the Internet without the permission of its owner. In December last year, London police arrested a 39-year-old man for uploading UK’s Top 40 singles on The Pirate Bay and KickAssTorrents website.
If you want to know what online activities can get you arrested read our exclusive article on “7 Online Activities That Can Get You Arrested” and stay safe online. Moreover, if you use Tor browser, here are 5 things you should never do while surfing through Tor.