Couple fined pirated movies

A US-based couple has been slapped with a hefty fine of $35,000 by a federal court in Arizona for sharing pirated copies of movies “Lost Child” and “Saving Christmas.” In the past, we have seen several movie companies accusing people of downloading movies from BitTorrent, and often, such cases are settled with an undisclosed settlement amount.

However, the case with Mrs. Parks, an Arizona-based woman accused of downloading and sharing pirated movies, took an unexpected turn when she refused to settle the case by paying $1,000 in four separate payments. Movie companies approached Mrs. Parks and her husband after her email was found in the data linked to downloading pirated movies, shared by the popular torrent site YTS as an earlier settlement.

Mrs. Parks, who downloaded the film “Lost Child” illegally, was given a settlement opportunity to pay $1,000 in four payments. Along with that, there was the option of waiver of the last installment if the first three installments were paid on time. She and her husband, Mr. Dabney, were willing to take the deal initially, but soon the communication went downhill after no payments were made.

Mr. Dabney accused the lawyer of movie companies of being “fraud and scam.” He made it clear that the companies shouldn’t expect any compensation and even used profane words to make himself clear in front of the companies.

This irked the lawyers, who moved to the court instead of backing down to slap a case requesting copyright infringement damages. The couple didn’t respond to the legal paperwork received from the court, and Mr. Dabney even left a voice note at the Attorney’s office. The voicemail said, “Hey, this is case number you can suck my f*cking d*ck. Richard Dabney out in Arizona. I just got your papers. I don’t care if you sue me again for this. I don’t care if you call the cops. You’re gonna lose. I’m gonna win. Either way, you slice it, Mrs. Kerry S. Culpepper is going down.”

Proceeding with the case, movie companies have demanded a total sum of $35,000 in damages. The amount includes $15,000 for statutory copyright infringement damages for each movie and $5,000 for the use of altered copyright management information. US District Judge Susan Bolton has granted the judgment, and the couple has also been ordered to pay a sum of $5,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs, in addition to $35,000.

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Anmol is a tech journalist who handles reportage of cybersecurity and Apple and OnePlus devices at Fossbytes. He's an ambivert who is striving hard to appease existential crisis by eating, writing, and scrolling through memes.