Back in 2008, Jack Yates, an employee at a Los Angeles duplication company, decided to make a private copy of Paramount’s ‘The Love Guru’.
Yates was asked by his employer to make a promotional copy for the Jay Leno show, but made an extra copy which he shared with friends and family.
Yates’s actions didn’t go unnoticed by his employer and the FBI, who tracked him down through the company’s surveillance cameras. Yates was later arrested and admitted that he distributed the movie among friends and family. The arrest led to a sentence of six months in a federal prison from which he was released in September last year.
The damage done by the leak didn’t stop there though. A member of the Yates family passed the film on to M., who decided to share it with a release group. Following an FBI investigation, M, a 31 year-old from Irvine CA, was busted as well.
M. confessed to sharing the movie and accepted a sentence of three years probation.
Although M’s offense is considered to be more severe than that of Yates, he doesn’t have to serve time in jail. According to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, this difference is in part because M cooperated with the FBI, while Yates initially lied about his actions.
On BitTorrent the movie was never a big hit, despite the fact that it was available online before the theater release. This lack of interest mimics the box office earnings. With a production budget of $62 million, ‘The Love Guru’ was a big flop for Paramount Pictures, bringing in little over $40 million at the box office worldwide.