British film pirate of release groups gets four and a half years in prison

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Five members of release groups that illegally distribute films have been handed hefty prison sentences in Britain. The groups are said to be responsible for putting more than 2,500 films online. One of them was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for his part.

Wolverhampton Crown Court sentenced the five men, aged between 23 and 41, to several years in prison on Thursday. Two of them got more than four years, two three and a half years and one got off with two years. The judge found it proven that the men were part of the release groups ’26K, ‘DTRG’ ‘DEYA’ ‘Remixhd’ and ‘Resistance’.

According to the Federation Against Copyright Theft, the groups were the first to try and distribute pirated copies of new films and strive for the best quality. The groups are said to have paid, among other things, to make cam images in cinemas and then improve the quality of these for online distribution. In total, they would have put more than 2,500 films online, including Argo, The Avengers and James Bond – Skyfall. According to Torrentfreak, the anti-piracy organization even claimed at the hearing that the groups were behind the distribution of 9,000 films.

In January, the five had already confessed to conspiracy to defraud: a conspiracy that leads to criminal activity and damage to victims. They were arrested in early 2013. During the subsequent investigation, they were released on bail, but during that time one of them is said to have continued his activities, after which he was arrested again.

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