LAWFUEL – Entertainment Law, Legal US – A Norwalk man was charged today with copyright infringement for making available on the Internet an Academy Award “screener” – the animated feature Flushed Away – that had been sent by Paramount Pictures to his sister.
Salvador Nunez Jr., 27, was named in a criminal complaint filed late this afternoon in United States District Court in Los Angeles. The complaint, which alleges one felony count of copyright infringement, alleges that Paramount Pictures’ Flushed Away was posted to a website on December 23.
Additionally, Nunez also allegedly uploaded Warner Brothers Pictures’ Happy Feet to another website on January 4. After investigators with the Motion Picture Association of America downloaded copies of the films from the Internet, forensic analysis showed that the movies had been provided in DVD format to Nunez’s sister. The films – so-called screeners made available to certain individuals as part of the Academy Award process – were made available to his sister because she is a member of ASIFA (the International Animated Film Society), a group that describes itself as being “dedicated to the advancement of animation.” According to the criminal complaint, Salvador Nunez admitted putting the movies on his computer and making them available on the Internet.
Nunez will be summoned to appear in federal court in Los Angeles next Thursday.
A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
The charge of copyright infringement carries a maximum statutory penalty of
three years in federal prison.
This case was investigated by the Los Angeles Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which received assistance from investigators with the MPAA.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Michael C. Zweiback
Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section
Release No. 07-029