Police Charge ‘maVen’, ‘World Leader’ in Internet Movie Piracy

Anyone into downloading pirate movies from the internet over the last few years likely knows that the label 'maVen' on a video release was usually a mark of a high quality 'cammed' movie. After dozens of major releases and investigations by the FBI and Canadian police, 'maVen' now faces 6 months in jail.

Between 2004 and 2006, not many movie release groups could keep up with the mighty ‘maVen’ when it came to releasing quality ‘Telesync‘ versions of pirated movies onto the internet. From great versions of the ‘Bourne Supremacy’, ‘Collateral’ and ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ in 2004, through to their 2005 releases ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ and ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ to name just a few, maVen consistently delivered the goods. 2006 saw ‘maVen’ releases of serious heavyweight movies including ‘Underworld Evolution’, ‘Mission Impossible 3′, ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’, ‘Cars’ and ‘Superman Returns’. (full list available here).

Then, at the end of July 2006, ‘maVen’ releases mysteriously came to an abrupt halt.

According to reports, an FBI investigation into ‘maVen’ had been running for some time and was handed to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in April 2006.

“He was referred to us by the FBI,” said RCMP Staff Sgt. Noel St-Hilaire. “They had an investigation in the States.”

In September 2006, it all started coming together for the RCMP. Assisted by information from the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association, police arrested Geremi Adam (now 25) outside a Montreal theater after allegedly ‘camming’ the movies “How to Eat Fried Worms” and “Invincible.” They seized his laptop and other equipment and later released him, only for him to be arrested again at another theater just a month later.

According to the police, Geremi Adam had been selling copies of movies on the internet using the alias ‘maVen’ (asking between $300 and $1,000 each), which were then re-sold on the web and the streets. There had previously been rumors on the internet that ‘maVen’ had been dealing with commercial pirates but both sets of allegations are yet to be proven. Although ‘maVen’ releases ceased, another group called ‘maVenssupplieR‘ immediately took up the slack.

Following Adam’s arrest came a 14 month wait as the police combed computer systems and equipment looking for evidence to convict him. He now faces two counts of distributing copyright material on the internet.

However, luckily for Adam, he was arrested before tough new legislation was introduced to crack down on movie cammers in Canada, so he will escape the most severe punishments, unlike Louis-Rene Hache who was caught recently by the police and faces two years in jail.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Noel St-Hilaire explained: “Unfortunately at the time there was no legislation that forbid anyone from filming in a cinema. There’s not much we could do then other than issue a warning.”

Geremi Adam will appear in court on 30th January 2008 where he will face the possibility of a $25,000 fine and six months in jail

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