Check out this story: http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20120207/NEWS/120207045/1006/rss – it’s about a dude who got busted selling bootleg DVDs. So while SOPA/PIPA is currently on the back burner, if you download and then sell a movie, you are still doing something illegal… and the FBI will want to have a conversation with you and I’m thinking this dude is gonna do some serious federal time since this ain’t the first time he’s gotten busted for this and he was on probation, to boot.
The government and the movie industry kinda look the other way a little if you, say, downloaded “The Grey” and it was for your personal use; it’s supposedly illegal but, okay, I guess they feel that as long as you’re not going to profit from it, no harm, just a tiny foul. I know times are hard and that ya gotta do what you gotta do to make those ends meet… but getting the FBI’s attention? Better to be a dishwasher than to be a federally-convicted criminal.
This dude now gets to hang out at the Young Correctional Institution or, to Wilmingtonians, the “Gander Hilton,” a play on words because the facility is located in the area known as Gander Hill. From what I’ve been told, this isn’t a nice place to be waiting to see the judge or waiting to make bail; newspaper reports about the place have said that some people have been there for years waiting to go to trial, make bail, etc. The facility was meant to replace the aging, antiquated jail in the basement of the old public building in Rodney Square; you don’t get to sign yourself out OR, you get to stay at the Gander Hilton.
It was a facility for those who committed non-violent crimes, like, you didn’t pay your tickets and the judge gave you 90 days so you stay here instead of being shipped downstate to the much larger Delaware Correction Center. I figured that over time, hell, it was easier to just keep everyone there, regardless of the crime that was committed and now, like many jails across the country, it’s overcrowded and a dangerous place to be.
Makes me wonder if selling an illegal copy of a movie for $5 is worth having to spend some time in this place; it wouldn’t be my first choice and I sure as hell don’t want to be explaining myself to the FBI and if he doesn’t get any federal time, he’s lucky; they might be happy just to let him stew at YCI/Gander Hilton for a while on his probation violations. Or, since this is considered a non-violent crime and YCI is so overcrowded, hmm, he might get a free bus ride down state.
It’s a dumb thing to do because the FBI never stops looking for bootleggers and won’t even if SOPA/PIPA gets enacted or not. That’s what they do.