Three Las Vegas Valley Residents Charged with DVD Piracy
Las Vegas, Nev. - A Federal Grand Jury indicted three Las Vegas-area residents yesterday on charges they illegally produced and sold copies of copyrighted motion pictures, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
MICHAEL L. YOUNG, age 46, of Henderson, Nevada, KELLY J. RYAN, age 31, of Las Vegas, Nevada, and KRISTIN M. TRUEMAN, age 21, of Las Vegas, Nevada, are each charged with one count of Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Willful Infringement of Copyright and one count of Willful Infringement of Copyright. If convicted, they are facing up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.
According to the court records, the objective of the conspiracy was to fraudulently obtain money and property by illegally producing and distributing, for a profit, copies of copyrighted motion pictures without the permission of the copyright holder. The member companies of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) did not license or authorize these individuals to duplicate or distribute DVD's or videocassettes of their copyrighted motion pictures.
In furtherance of the conspiracy, the Indictment alleges the following overt acts by the defendants:
On June 25 and July 17, 2004, defendants MICHAEL YOUNG and KRISTIN TRUEMAN, respectively, sold illegal DVD copies of copyrighted motion pictures for $10 each from a booth at the Fantastic Indoor Swap Meet at 1717 South Decatur Boulevard, in Las Vegas. Most of the movie titles being sold were still playing in the theaters and had not yet been released to DVD. Defendant TRUEMAN told customers that many of the movies she was selling were filmed in theaters and converted into DVD format by individuals who were "very good at it."
On unknown dates in Las Vegas, defendant KELLY "burned" (copied) motion pictures onto DVDs without the permission of the copyright holder, and made them available for sale at the Swap Meet.
On July 23, 2004, defendant MICHAEL YOUNG sold approximately 40 illegally-copied DVD's of motion pictures to an MPAA undercover investigator at the Swap Meet. YOUNG provided the undercover investigator with a business card indicating he was with "Starlite Records, Fantastic Indoor Swap Meet, 1717 S. Decatur, Booth #I18 & J16, Las Vegas, NV 89102, (702) 259-2156."
The motion pictures allegedly unlawfully distributed by the defendants include "Spiderman 2", Fahrenheit 9/11", "White Chicks", "Dodgeball", The Bourne Supremacy", "I, Robot", "A Cinderella Story", "King Arthur", and "Anchorman". Most of the DVDs were poor quality counterfeits, and not shrink-wrapped or sealed in any manner. The paper inserts were of poor print quality and were missing most of the required trademark and copyright information.
In order to convict the defendants, the Government must prove that the defendants reproduced or distributed during a 180-day period, at least 10 copies of one or more copyrighted works, having a total retail value of more than $2,500.
The defendants were arrested on July 30, 2004, and are currently released on bond pending trial. They are scheduled to appear in court for an Arraignment and Plea on August 20, 2004, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy A. Leen.
The case is being investigated by Special Agents with the FBI and investigators with the Motion Picture Association of America, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nancy J. Koppe.
The public is reminded that an Indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.