Man gets jail time for illegally copying DVDs

August 17, 2012|By Tricia Bishop

A 35-year-old Charles County man was sentenced Friday to six months in federal prison followed by six months home detention for illegally copying DVD movies and selling the bootlegs for 60 cents apiece at a Washington farmer’s market, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced.

John M. Harris, of Bryans Road, made hundreds of copies of films — including Kung Fu Panda 2, Pirates of the Caribbean and Bridesmaids — each weekend and peddled them at the Florida Avenue market last summer and fall, investigators said.

ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations agents said they seized more than 1,100 illegally copied movies worth more than $47,000 from his home during a search Oct. 8. 

 “John Harris turned his home into a virtual factory, where he churned out pirated movies to make a profit for himself,” District of Columbia U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. said in a statement. “He took money that should have gone to the many people actually responsible for the entertainment he sold. This prosecution demonstrates our resolve to protecting copyrights on movies and other products from those who want to cash in illegally.”

Harris pleaded guilty to copyright infringement in May.

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