back to article X-Men Origins: Wolverine pirate caged

A Bronx man found guilty of uploading a copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine to a file-sharing service has been sentenced to a year in federal prison and another year of supervised release. Reuters is reporting that 49-year-old Gilberto Sanchez copped the sentence from US district court judge Margaret Morrow, who described the act …


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  1. David 45


    Well, there's one law enforcement official with the right priorities. Never mind robbers, muggers, burglars, murderers and rapists. Let's REALLY show a film pirate who's boss. A year inside should suffice in putting the country to rights. I write this as a UK observer who often marvels at the discrepancies between the sentence and the so-called crime. A year for pirating? She has got to be joking! Totally excessive and way out of proportion to the "crime". What, exactly, does she hope to achieve by doing this, apart from creating hostility? One could be forgiven for thinking that she might be in the entertainment industry's pocket after THAT performance.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I imagine what the judge expects... to one day retire to a nice position on the board of one of those private prison companies that so love all the easy money of housing soft criminals at public expense for as long as possible. Hard criminals, not so much: they, like, cost serious money to keep locked up for any length of time.

    2. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      He got off lightly really compared to what the Romans would've done.

      I mean consider the story of the bloke who bought 5 loaves of bread and fish, and then copied them a thousand times! They nailed that pirate to a cross and left him there until dead!

      1. Thomas 18
        Thumb Up

        I heard he got better though?

        The post is required, and must contain letters.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I hear he counterfieted some wine too

        Joke alert or no... Considering most of these "Burn 'em in Hell" types at least pay lip service to some sort of Christianity, that looks like a pretty good precedent.

  2. T J

    Was quite good actually

    This film was quite good actually, I've not understood the criticisms of it, but most people are morons so there you go.

    Margaret Morrow needs to have something badly inversely career oriented happen to her, to hold her up as an example of what will happen to government apparatchiks that try to oppress people over online electronic issues in the future.

    The public is self-centered and stupid, yes, but it wont put up with this for much longer. And then there is the backlash.......

    1. Jedit Silver badge

      Actually, it stank

      And it's widely believed that Fox were so agitated about the leaking of Wolverine because it cost them millions of dollars from people who would have gone to see it, but did not because reviews of the leaked workprint - the only pre-release reviews that existed, BTW - told them not to bother.

      However, thank you for pointing out that I am a moron merely because I do not share your taste in movies (or as it may be, lack thereof).

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Even they must realise it is nonsense

        "Fox were so agitated about the leaking of Wolverine because it cost them millions of dollars from people who would have gone to see it, but did not because reviews of the leaked workprint"

        Only complete movie nuts would have troubled themselves to DL and then *watch* an unfinished copy of a movie which sole appeal was supposed to be in the CGI and the CGI was exactly what was missing from the leaked copy!

        Those movie nuts have all probably watched the movies when it was leaked, watched it when it came out, bought DVDs, bought merchandise etc.

        For the rest of the population, the whole schebang was just an extra bit of publicity, so probably more people have actually watched the movie as the result of the "leak".

        1. Jedit Silver badge

          "Only complete nuts would have troubled themselves to DL the movie"

          I don't disagree with you, Vladimir, but the point is that said tiny minority of complete nuts went on to tell the greater majority of people who aren't complete nuts how bad they thought the movie was. Those people (the incomplete nuts?) are the ones who didn't then go see the movie when it came out or buy the DVD. Studios don't care half so much if a few illegal downloaders don't go to the cinema as they do about thousands of ordinary people who *would* normally pay not putting their arses on chairs.

          On a sidebar, I'd say that a movie whose sole appeal is the CGI is going to be a bad movie by definition. Special effects need to enhance storytelling, not replace it.

          1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


            "a movie whose sole appeal is the CGI is going to be a bad movie by definition."

            Yes, but people still go to watch such movies purely for the effects, knowing full well what to expect, and they are not going to be deterred by an obscure enthusiast basing his opinion on a leaked copy of an unfinished film, obviously missing those very bits which the average punter was interested in in the first place...

            After all, they all paid in total USD 150,000,000.- for it - that's double the original investment. Why should anyone even think he has any right to expect a better result?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          I suspect you've maybe missed the point... "reviews of the leaked workprint" - "reviews" being the operative word.

          You don't have to DL and watch a workprint to read reviews of the workprint - esp when, as pointed out, no other pre-release reviews are available because the production company hasn't shown the film to anyone.

      2. T J

        No, no, it was quite good

        You are wrong sorry. I can't educate you though, thats something others will have to make up.

  3. Patrick O'Reilly


    I saw that film (both the rough and final cut) and I can say without doubt that the real criminals were those behind the film.

    A more heinous crime against the art of film making would be hard to find.

    1. g e

      I submit for your consideration

      The Italian Job remake

      Not even in Italy.

    2. Tom Maddox Silver badge

      Ooh, I've got one . . .

      Manos: The Hands of Fate -- now available on Blu-Ray!

  4. Denarius Silver badge

    you expect any different from new Roman empire ?

    the Republic is long gone, now only the oligarchies remain. Just like the old USSR.

    When is Nero MK4 due one wonders ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE Nero MK4?

      Due when the Republicans again take the reins of the USA chariot. They have long since run out of sensible candidates and only have the sybaritic and crazy candidates to set up as their frontage to the world. We are truly into the decadent era of the USA, and the gladiator arenas of the middle east and other areas are turning to squalid spectacles surviving on rhetoric and lies while those still there grab what they can before they run. The next Chinese empire is ready to roll.

      1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

        Nero as a merkin president???

        How about Commodus? Groomed from birth to succeed his father on the throne, a weak character and easily influenced by others and in reality he was controlled by his father. His accession to throne also brought to an end a period of time where people got the throne by merit rather than by birth. Commodus also wanted romans to think he was a powerful warrior and to that end ‘fought’ other gladiators in the roman circuses, however his opponents stood little chance as they were armed with WMD (Wooden Military Devices). His government is also considered the most corrupt to have ever ruled the roman empire.

        Another possible contender may be Domitian, he was paranoid, developed new tortures and harassed philosophers.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      I think we skipped it

      We skipped it somehow.

      We are straight into the "timid", "politically correct", "no tits on display" days of the Vizantium post- Julian the Apostate.

    3. LarsG


      IS already in decline.

  5. Nuno trancoso


    IF i was into watching a totally bastardized version of some of my fave comic chars on film, i'd say the movie was ok.

    I'm not.

    Hollywood can do the visuals, but they lack the "soul" to get it right.

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      Did you watch the uploaded version which cut out the first part that said "This is a complete work of fiction, and any resemblance to a real or existing story, or to characters you may already know happened by accident"

      Reading books, I tend to consider that a film is like looking at a photograph of your favorite model (/actor/singer/person/etc.), whereas the book is like holding and feeling the actual person.

      1. LoopyChew

        I'm holding a book about Scarlett Johansson and feeling disappointed. Tried with two books, too, still not satisfied.

    2. g e

      9/10 - Good Effort

      You'll have to imagine teacher's red biro marks but...

      "Hollywood can do the visuals, but they have no soul"

      A+ for effort :oD

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I support enforcement of copyright infringement by the law but bugger me this is going to bloody far! Fine the dopey sod for being a prat and leave it at that. Nicking copies of films and music is a bad thing but locking someone up for it is just way out of line, hopefully he can appeal against this absolute rampant stupidity.

    With absolutely pathetic decisions like this these mental studio execs wonder why people rip their stuff off. "If you're going to treat us like a criminals at the offset, doesn't make any real difference if we are does it?!".

  7. MacGyver

    Punishment > Crime

    I'm sure he will come out of prison much better than when he went in.


    Truth is, if he comes out, I'm sure the forced anal and oral sex will have at the very least made him bitter toward society, and his new criminal record will make his future job prospects bleak, so he will most likely become a true criminal, and depending on how he was treated in prison, most likely a violent one. But I guess the possible loss of income to a multimillion dollar movie studio is worth more than the life of one man (and his family).

    His penalty should have been a fine, and community service, his crime was non-violent, not personal, and the impact from his actions was not felt specifically by any one person.

  8. potatosalad

    I'm actually surprised

    When the film was leaked originally, I thought it was all a scheme by the studio to get massive amounts of free publicity for a film that they knew was a turkey. Who can forget the heart-wrending clips of Hugh Jackman's angst that were endlessly repeated in news reports?

    I never expected them to actually pursue criminal prosecutions for the leak because the trail would probably lead back to the studio.

    1. CaptainHook

      RE: I'm actually surprised

      "I never expected them to actually pursue criminal prosecutions for the leak because the trail would probably lead back to the studio."

      Note that they haven't prosecuted the leak. Someone attached to the production team had to have let what they had of the film out into the public, but they have never found that person (he must be a master of disguise to avoid being found out from the relatively small group of people who would have access to that material at that time).

      All they have done is prosecuted random joe public who uploaded it.

  9. g e

    I thought imprisonment...

    ... these days was as much about removing dangerous folk from society as punishment.

    Thank god this guy is taking up the prison bunk of a murderer, rapist or pedo. He's obviously a danger to the very fabric of human existence.

    I should hope an appeal would get the sentence reduced. In a sane world. Mind you, in a sane world Big Media would get told to go through the proper channels for redress, too.

    1. Steve Renouf


      That is all... ;-)

  10. irish donkey

    Didn't see the film

    Was it any good?

    It would be an interesting statistic if more people watched the pirate version than watched the polished version. But in saying that a polished turd and all that...

    Buying 2nd hand DVD's since 2009.

    Merry Christmas everybody

    1. The BigYin

      @irish donkey

      "Was it any good?"

      No. Never mind downloading it for free, you should be paid to compensate you for the wasted bandwidth!

      "Buying 2nd hand DVD's since 2009."

      I buy second-hand games, films come from the bargain-bin (I am a patient man).

  11. Gerrit Hoekstra

    It was quite an education seeing partially-rendered CGI, actually!

    Now my kids and I know how CGI is done. Who knows, we could be looking at new entrants into the CGI industry one of these days who actually have an appreciation of this technology, thanks to this leak?

    More importantly, watching the fully rendered version recently on UK TV, we now all know how *not* to make a film, since this it not quite the cinematographic masterpiece, is it?

  12. Craig 12

    Isn't this a classic case to dispel the myths of piracy?

    A movie, leaked weeks before the cinema opening and panned by critics, still brought in $150,000,000 relatively quickly, which was a 50% gross profit.

    Also, why are the media people recently mad a megaupload? It appears not to be a pirate safe haven after all.

    1. The BigYin

      This is a key point

      I was at a talk where RMS mentioned an experiment Stephen King tried whereby Mr. King did a book on a "Pay what you want basis". Mr. King got US$100k profit or something and called it a failure. RMS made the point that US$100k is a success. It's a *very* nice annual wage and it was one book! It can only be a "failure" if one was hoping to gouge people for US$millions.

      These big-name media types (people and companies) need to lower their expectations. I do not owe them a living, the sun does not shine out their fundament.

      Support indie, support sharing (e.g. Humble Indie Bundle,, Jamendo, Magnatue [all distribution channels] also "The Tunnel", "Sintel", "Person of Interest" [all actual releases]). Screw the parasitic majors.

      1. irish donkey

        Humble Indie Bundle

        stonking good value for some quality games!

        plus it helps charity

        What's not to like?

        1. The BigYin


          "What's not to like?"

          I am supposed to be fixing this house up, instead I am wondering what order will tip the balance in my next Gratuitous Space Battle :-S

  13. The BigYin

    Hmm... copyright infringement is now a greater threat to society than burglary, theft and bodily harm?

    Something is seriously screwed up.

    As @Craig 12 said, they still made money. If one assumed that all the downloads were lost sales (which is highly, highly unlikely) what would they have gained? 0.001%? The lawyers probably cost more than that.

    And haven't other surveys shown that the downloaders are also their biggest customers? They are not just biting the hand that feeds, now they are jailing it.

    1. Darryl

      @The BigYin

      That's because the victims of burglary, theft, and bodily harm (usually) don't contribute large sums of money to politicians, so politicians aren't motivated to give a shit about their problems.

  14. Nickjx

    Latino from the Bronx jailed

    How much that the sentence wouldn't have been the same if the suspect hadn't been a Latino window cleaner from the Bronx, but, say, a White video editor from Manhattan?

  15. HP Cynic

    Finally saw this last week via my film club: an abomination of a movie, it really was like watching a bad comedy were the humour does not work but the "serious" bits made me laugh out loud.

  16. Anonymous Noel Coward

    Food for thought...

    If you don't watch the movies Hollywood take the time to make, you're STEALING.

    Also, home made sex tapes are killing the porn industry. And it's illegal!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have no idea what everyone is on about.

    I liked it.

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      Reading the above posts first, I think you should've gone with the troll icon...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I see, so by not holding the same opinion as the majority makes me a troll does it? I must have missed that memo.

        The internet: Where your opinion is as valid as the next man's! As long as it is also the same as the next man's!

  18. Daniel Johnson
    Big Brother

    Thought Crime

    I don't think this man should have been imprisoned or fined. I don't think anything should have happened to him.

    He uploaded a film he bought to a file sharing website. There was no profit motive on his part as far as I can tell.

    The real "criminals" are the bootleggers who sold him the DVD in the first place. And I say "criminals" because copyright theft should be a civil matter.

    1. The BigYin

      @Daniel Johnson

      He breached the terms of his license. That should be a civil matter at best, not criminal, as a license is basically a contract.

      He may have caused loss (i.e. *some* downloaders did not buy the DVD or a cinema ticket who would otherwise have done so). OK, recover that loss from him. Once it can be quantified (and remember, 1 download!=1 lost sale).

      He can't pay? Garnish his wages or use other measures open to the judge.

      If the media companies want their productions dealt with like a physical product (e.g. "theft" etc) then they should also assign the rights of a physical product. e.g I can do what I want with it (cut it up, re-purpose it, whatever), I can give it away, it can be inherited and so on.

      At the moment they want license terms in their favour (no copying, no format shifting etc) but product terms when it suits them ("theft", jail etc). They are trying to have it both ways and are getting away with it for now - this is not something that can continue. Our culture will eventually suffer, innovation will suffer, economies will suffer.

      The biggest threat to the digital economy is not the license-breachers, it's the corporate trying to legally entrench their fiefdoms and create barriers to free-trade and innovation. These are the same morons who think the Internet should have been patented! My yes, what a bloody great idea that would have been! THEY are the one now benefiting from the freedom the Internet offers and they want to lock-it down.

      It's so short-sighted it's like trying to monetise collaterised debt...wait a minute...

  19. John Savard


    The property of Hollywood movie studios may belong to them, not the government, but it is true that they're major earners of foreign exchange for the United States. This is important, because it means that more people may be allowed to have jobs, and buy Chinese-made products, without putting the country into debt.

    People in Britain should be able to understand this; after all, the Beatles received the OBE even when their music was still controversial.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So sad

    Too bad he only got one year in prison.

    1. Local Group

      In Byzantium...

      They used to cut off people's noses (not cosmetically, either) as punishment.

      Would that satisfy your craving for piratical justice?

  21. Mark 30

    So they gotr him. Once upon a time, they went after the downloaders also. So, all the "reviewers" should have harassed and fined. Strange world.

  22. LateNightLarry


    << clip >> In a fine display of exaggerated outrage, US attorney Andre Birotte Jr said the Justice Department “will pursue and prosecute persons who steal the intellectual property of this nation” << end clip >>

    Given that our government is now controlled by the mega-corporations, I'm guessing that US Attorney Birotte believes that the property of the corporations is really the property of "this nation" and therefore any theft of property of the mega-corporations is de facto theft of government property.

    Only until the RepubliCONS and tea baggers are removed from Congress.

    Nuclear blast because that's what coming to Congress, metaphorically speaking.

  23. Local Group

    There are wheels within wheels (no pun intended)

    Congressman Bill Janklow (R-SD) convicted of second-degree manslaughter for running a stop sign and killing a motorcyclist. Resigned from the House and given 100 days in the county jail and three years probation(2003)

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