(Newsroom America) -- A Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to conspiring to willfully reproduce and distribute tens of thousands of infringing copies of copyrighted works without permission, including infringing copies of movies before they were commercially released on DVD.
Willie O. Lambert, 57, of Pittston, Pa., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement.
Lambert was indicted on April 18, 2012, along with three other leading members of the IMAGiNE Group, an organized online piracy group seeking to become the premier group to first release Internet copies of new movies only showing in theaters. A co-defendant, Sean M. Lovelady, entered a guilty plea to the same charge on May 8, 2012.
According to court documents, Lambert and his co-conspirators sought to illegally obtain and disseminate digital copies of copyrighted motion pictures showing in theaters.
Lambert admitted that he went to movie theaters and secretly used receivers and recording devices to capture the audio sound tracks of copyrighted movies (referred to as “capping”). After obtaining, editing and filtering audio sound tracks and uploading them to servers utilized by the IMAGiNE Group, Lambert used and attempted to use software to synchronize the audio file with an illegally obtained video file of a movie to create a completed movie file suitable for sharing over the Internet among members of the IMAGiNE Group and others.
Mr. Lambert also admitted that the IMAGiNE group’s conduct resulted in a readily provable and reasonably foreseeable infringement amount of more than $400,000.
He faces up to five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release.