LOS ANGELES, Sept. 30, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) -– Thirty-one-year-old William Kyle Morarity, an ex-studio employee from Lancaster, who illegally uploaded copies of the Academy Award-winning film “The Revenant” and “The Peanuts Movie” has been ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution to 20th Century Fox.
Along with the fine, Morarity was sentenced to eight months home detention. Additionally he will serve another two years of probation.
Morarity entered a guilty plea in March to the federal charge of “uploading copyrighted work being prepared for commercial distribution.” The crime is a felony offense and carries a sentence of up to three years in federal prison.
According to papers filed, “The Revenant” was available for download six days before its limited release in theaters. During that time, a million viewers were able to watch the film online, causing 20th Century Fox to suffer losses of well over $1 million in ticket sales.
Eileen Decker, the U.S. District Attorney, said in a statement, “The film industry creates thousands of jobs in Southern California. The defendant’s illegal conduct caused significant harm to the victim movie studio.” She continued, “The fact that the defendant stole these films while working on the lot of a movie studio makes his crime more egregious.”