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July 2009


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Pirate Pleads Guilty to Illegally Distributing Slumdog Millionaire

slumdog_millionaire_poster1By Rachel Leven

Not all pirates sail the perilous seas.

Take Pirate – film pirate that is — Owen Moody.

The 25-year-old from San Marcos, Calif., who navigated the Internet under the assumed names “Tranceyo” and “Gizmothekitty”, pleaded guilty last week in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to a copyright violation for distributing a pirated  copy of  the smash hit, “Slumdog Millionaire”.

Last year, Moody uploaded on the Academy Award winning film, which at the time had a limited U.S. release and was not yet on DVD.  He also posted links to that upload at two other sites, authorities said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Ofice said Moody first discovered the film  on the website  and distributed it after realizing it was “not readily available to the general public”.

The pirated film originated from a digital copy of a “screener” intended for review by a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for “voting consideration”, authorities said.

Moody is scheduled to be sentenced before U.S. District Judge Gary A. Feess on Oct. 5 and could get up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service.

Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi, co-founder of the  Swedish based website,  The Pirate Bay, where the film was posted, was generally critical on Monday of government crackdowns on the distribution of  materials on the website.

“If users (post) to our website and it turns out it was data that was not legal to spread, they should talk to their government and make sure the government realizes they are ruining the Internet, the culture and also the freedom of speech,” he said in an email to “It’s very important to be able to share material, any type of material. I would consider it a human (right).”

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