Movie pirate given almost 3 years in prison for filming Fast & Furious 6 in back of cinema

Philip Danks, 25, recorded the Hollywood blockbuster on its UK release date of 17 May 2013, losing the distribution firm "millions"

A man who secretly filmed Fast & Furious 6 in a Walsall cinema has been sentenced to almost three years in prison.

Philip Danks, 25, from the West Midlands, reportedly cost Universal Pictures around £2.3million in lost revenue after he uploaded it to the web.

He had visited a showing of the film on its UK release day on 17 May 2013 and his pirated copy was downloaded over 700,000 times.

Danks reportedly also sold copies of his recorded version for £1.50 via his Facebook page, making £1,000 in the process. He was arrested on 23 May.

According to Sky News, he was rumbled after police noticed that his username, Thecod3r, was the same as that on his dating profile on webisite Plenty of Fish.

Yesterday Danks, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to three charges of distributing pirate copies of films and was given 33 months in jail.

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard how his motive was primarily “street cred”, with Danks continually updating his Facebook friends with news on his case.

“The film was Universal Picture's most significant release of that year with both the biggest production costs and expected revenue,” Mr Ari Alibhai, prosecuting on behalf of the Federation Against Copyright Theft said, reports Express & Star.

“The estimated loss to the industry caused by the defendant's actions is conservatively estimated at £2.3m but he did not receive money from the online distribution.”

He added: “The first person with a pirated version attracts much kudos. He wanted recognition from the community.”

Recorder Keith Raynor said the offending was “bold, arrogant and cocksure.

“Your approach to the film industry was made clear in the posting you made on Facebook two days after your arrest.

“I accept the personal profit was modest but the real seriousness of this case is the loss caused to the film industry as a whole.”

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