A New York man who uploaded a pirated copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine to the internet ahead of its commercial release has been sentenced to a year in U.S. federal prison.
Gilberto Sanchez, 49, pleaded guilty in March to uploading a “workprint” copy of the film to Megaupload.com, a site used for file-sharing, in 2009.
U.S. District Judge Margaret M. Morrow sentenced Sanchez on Monday, noting that he had been “regularly uploading pirated movies for four or five years and did not appear remorseful after charges were brought."
The judge also placed restrictions on Sanchez's computer use following his release from prison.
"We believe this is the longest sentence ever imposed for a defendant charged with uploading a single copyrighted film to the internet," said assistant U.S. attorney Lisa E. Feldman.
The pirated copy of Wolverine Sanchez provided was downloaded millions of times despite being incomplete (for instance, green-screen backdrops were still visible and suspension wires strapped to the actors could be seen in some scenes). The commercial release was not scheduled until a month later.
Wolverine studio 20th Century Fox spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attempting to contain the spread of the illegal upload.
An FBI investigation uncovered Sanchez’s role in the illegal release.