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November 21, 2019

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Prison term for online film thieves

Eight members of a gang who stole films online to show on their own websites were jailed for up to four and half years, the Shanghai No. 3 Intermediate People’s Court said yesterday. 

The movies included Chinese sci-fi blockbuster “The Wandering Earth,” crime drama “Integrity” and comedy “Crazy Alien.”  

Prosecutors said a man surnamed Chen had been entrusted by people overseas to employ seven others and run at least seven pirate websites between July 2017 and March 2019.

Links to illegal advertisements for overseas gambling sites were added to the movies. The amount involved exceeded 12.5 million yuan (US$1.78 million).

The court said the gang set up a QQ group for members to communicate with each other. Chen, who was responsible for assigning tasks and paying the other members, made around 500,000 yuan from the deal.

Chen was jailed for four and half years and fined 500,000 yuan. Sentences on the others ranged from 10 months to more than two years.


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