Gilbert Sanchez, a 47-year-old budding musician nabbed by the FBI for uploading the Wolverine movie a month before its theatrical release, doesn't deny putting the pirated flick on the Internet, but he does pretty much deny any wrongdoing.
"It's just ridiculous," Sanchez told reports from The New York Daily News. "I bought it from a Korean guy on the street for five bucks. Then I uploaded it. I didn't make any money."
Sanchez contends that there's much bigger fish the FBI should be going after and that he wasn't responsible for the original leak. And according to CNet's "Hollywood sources," the authorities have ruled out Sanchez as the original source of the leak, though it isn't clear if he knows someone behind the scenes at studios who would have access to unreleased movies.
"I had FBI with search warrant in my place," Sanchez wrote in a post at Crazypellas.net under his "SkillfulGil" username. "They took my PC. Now (they're) building a fed case on me for the same thing. Copyright Infringement...So I guess I'll (be) made an example of."
You can rest soundly tonight knowing that the villain responsible for uploading the Wolverine movie a month before its theatrical release will probably serve time behind bars. That is, if the FBI has grabbed the right man.
The FBI early this morning arrested Gilberto Sanchez, 47, in Bronx, N.Y., and believe he's the cold hearted criminal who leaked the 20th Century Fox feature film to the Internet in April. By the time the flick made it to the silver screen a month later, it had already been watched about 4.1 million times, says BigChampagne, a market research firm for file-sharing networks.
According to the indictment, Sanchez uploaded the film to Megaupload.com under one of his online aliases, which include "theSkilled1" and "SkillyGilly." But what the indictment doesn't say is how Sanchez managed to get his hands on a working copy of the flim, even though the copy that was leaked was missing a bunch of computer-generated special effects.
It's unclear how much jail time and fines Sanchez would face if convicted, but according to CNet, a New Jersey man who pleaded guilty to copyright infringement charges for uploading the film "Hulk" a few weeks before its big screen debut was sentenced to six months house arrest and slapped with a $7,000 fine.
In what might not have been the brightest move in hindsight, 10-year Foxnews.com columnist Roger Friedman posted a short review of the pirated flick "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," which will be released in theaters May 1st. Consider that 20th Century Fox is a subsidiary of News Corp, and it shouldn't be too surprising the suits in charge opted to issue Friedman a pink slip.
"Roger Friedman's views in no way reflect the views of News Corporation," News Corp. said in a statement. "We, along with 20th Century Film Corporation, have been a consistent leader in the fight against piracy and have a zero tolerance for any action that encourages and promotes piracy. When we advised Fox News of the facts, they took immediate action, removed the post, and promptly terminated Mr. Friedman."
The statement issued by Fox News wasn't quite as harsh, claiming Friedman and Fox News "mutually agreed to part ways immediately" and wishing Friedman "success in his future endeavors."
It probably didn't help Friedman's case that, in addition to writing about Wolverine, he said he was also able to find the current top 10 movies in theaters, and that "Later tonight I may finally catch up with Paul Rudd in 'I Love You, Man.' It's so much easier than going out in the rain!"