Copyright infringement on Facebook is nothing new. It happens every day in fact. Just scroll through your news feed for a bit, and it won’t take long before you find a copyrighted image or even a video posted without permission. However, these daily violations rarely receive enough attention to warrant any action from the copyright holder or authorities.
That was not the case with a bootlegged copy of the “most pirated film of 2016.” Trevon Franklin from Fresno, Califonia posted the movie Deadpool under a fake Facebook account and now faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine after signing a plea bargain.
The pirated film was publically available for viewing between February 20-22, 2016 while the movie was still playing in theaters. Before Facebook removed the post, it went viral having been viewed 6,386,456 times.
According to TorrentFreak, the 22-year-old had downloaded the movie from Putlocker and posted it under the pseudonym Tre-Von M. King. The FBI investigated the bogus account and traced it back to Franklin. He was eventually arrested and indicted last summer.
Last week Franklin signed a plea deal. In a bid to reduce his possible jail time, he will plead guilty to a Class A misdemeanor. Franklin could face up to a year in prison followed by probation, and a fine of up to $100,000.
It is not often that the federal government gets involved in these matters. Usually, things like this are handled with cease and desist orders and takedown notifications. However, the fact that the post went viral and received a lot of media attention probably prompted the feds to take action.
A date for sentencing has not yet been set.