Three arrested in separate piracy cases

Charges include illegally posting videos to Internet

After investigations from the U.S. Secret Service and the FBI, three men in Southern California were charged in separate instances of pirating movies, one of them involving a copy of "The Love Guru" that was meant for Jay Leno.

The other movies, all of which were illegally posted to the Internet, were "Slumdog Millionaire," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "Australia."

Jack Yates of Porter Ranch, Calif., faces potentially the harshest penalties after attempting to shift blame to others. Lying, allegedly, to the FBI could earn Yates up to five years in prison while the movie piracy itself carries the potential of a fine and up to one year in prison.

Yates was an employee at Los Angeles Duplication & Broadcasting, where he was asked to make a copy of "Love Guru" for client Paramount. The studio's intention was to supply the copy to "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" so it could air a clip.

The FBI, armed with surveillance footage supplied by LADB, said Yates made two copies, and video shows him concealing one copy while leaving LADB and approaching his parked car.

Yates is accused of sharing the pirated copy with others, one of whom posted the movie, though was only partially succesful, to a Web site on June 19 and again on June 20. The movie opened wide on June 20.

In a separate couple of cases handled by the Secret Service, Derek Hawthorne of Moorpark, Calif., is accused of uploading "Benjamin Button" to a site known as Moviehogs and "Australia" to the site Demonoid.com, and Owen Moody of San Marcos, Calif., is accused of uploading "Slumdog" to the site ThePirateBay.org.

The Secret Service didn't provide details of either case.
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