A Missouri man was sentenced Friday to two years in federal prison for illegally recording The Dark Knight in a theater and selling the movie on DVD.
U.S. District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan also ordered the defendant, Robert Henderson of Grandview, Missouri, to pay $24,738. The prison sentence will be followed by three years probation.
Henderson pleaded guilty to criminal copyright infringement for using a digital camera to record The Dark Knight on July 18, 2008 — opening day for the Warner Bros. blockbuster. He was caught as part of an investigation by the Motion Picture Association of America.
“This is an appropriate sentence for a very serious crime, and we hope it will serve as a warning to would-be movie thieves that they will face severe consequences for engaging in these activities,” Mike Robinson, the MPAA’s senior vice president of content protection, said in a press release.
In December, the FBI arrested a New York man suspected of uploading an unfinished edit of X-Men Origins: Wolverine to a file-sharing website for the film’s release. Earlier this month 20th Century Fox filed six lawsuits against several dozen people the studio claims sold DVDs containing unfinished versions of the movie.