Chicago man, Jorge Romero faced a federal court to answer charges that following a high-profile leak, he uploaded episodes of Fox’s show “24” before they were officially available. Fox claims his actions caused them losses of $4m. He entered a guilty plea to one count of uploading copyright works.
Although Romero was not responsible for the original leak, in the United States distribution of copyright works before their official release date is a breach of the Family Entertainment Copyright Act and as such, Romero, 25, faces a possible three years in prison.
Prosecutors claim that Romero first downloaded the episodes from a BitTorrent tracker and then went on to upload the episodes to video hosting site, LiveDigital.com. His identity was discovered after News Corp – the owner of Fox TV – sent a subpoena to LiveDigital demanding the uploaders details.
At the time, Fox put out a statement, “We hope it will serve as a powerful warning that uploading copyrighted TV shows and movies to the Internet can be a crime with significant penalties and will be prosecuted as such. Video-hosting sites such as LiveDigital.com and YouTube are not copyright-free zones, and individuals like Jorge Romero who post episodes of television shows, particularly before they are even broadcast for the first time, will face harsh civil and criminal sanctions.”
He will be sentenced on September 10th.