Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Criminal Copyright Infringement – International Intellectual Property Law – Case Study #15

Originally posted 2017-02-27 12:05:36

Jeramiah B. Perkins of Virginia, the alleged leader of an online piracy group, IMAGiNE, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. Criminal copyright infringement is a serious crime; criminal copyright is the subject of the warning labels you view before the start of a movie. You know, those messages after the previews.  Most people fast forward past the warnings, however, misappropriating and making copies of copyrighted materials is illegal.

According to the prosecution in the Perkins matter, the IMAGiNE’s piracy group aimed to become the internet’s most prolific source for new movies still being played in theaters. This goal blatantly in direct violation of copyright laws is a lofty one and even a feeble attempt to realize the goal would and did lead to criminal charges.

Court documents reveal that Perkins had admitted renting computer servers in France and elsewhere for IMAGiNE. He also used using receivers and recording devices in movie theaters to secretly capture the audio soundtracks of movies, which he would later synchronize with the illegally recorded video files to be later disseminated online.

Perkins faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, as well as a $250,000 fine.

A copyright is a right to prevent others from using your originally authored work. To protect their creative ingenuity, as well as to ensure that they are the only ones who can make use of and profit from their material, authors of artistic or intellectual works have their material copyrighted. Those who have copyrighted material have many exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce the work, distribute copies to the public for sale, and perform the work. Since anything you create can be copyrighted, copyrights can protect endless types of creative work. Some examples are recorded music, books, software codes, video games, paintings, plays, or sculptures.


(August 29, 2012).  Va. Man pleads guilty to copyright conspiracy.  Retrieved on September 4, 2012 from