IMAGINE Group Cammer Got 40-Month Prison TermAdded: Thursday, December 13th, 2012
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Ridiculous Criminal Trials
Tags:ET, p2p, Torrent, Piracy, Peer To Peer, Network, Hackers, Internet, BitTorrent, Google, utorrent, bitcomet, extratorrent, 2010, www.extratorrent.com
One of the members of the in-theater camcording gang called “IMAGiNE Group” was recently handed a 40-month prison term, which became the longest sentence in a file-sharing case in the country. Gregory A. Cherwonik, 53, from New York, was handed the term by a Virginia federal judge one year after he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit copyright violation.
Overall, 5 people have pleaded guilty to running IMAGiNE, which is regarded as the most prolific piracy release group since 2009. The indictment said that the group in question sought to be the best group to first release the online copies of new movies only showing in the theaters.
The MPAA said that the group was more successful than any other unauthorized Internet release group due to its short latency periods between the theatrical release and their pirated release. They also always showed good quality of audio captures and high volume of releases. IMAGiNE members would audio-record such movies as Friends with Benefits, while other members would record the movie at a theater with a camcorder. Then the pirates combined the sound and video into a full-featured movie.
The police pointed out that the group used servers located in France, Canada and the US in order to offer in-theater-only motion pictures from various portals. According to the indictment, IMAGiNE Group accepted donations to fund expenses of renting servers and to accept payments for the illegal distribution and sale of pirated content. The indictment also charged that the outfit’s website featured member profiles, a torrent tracker, and a forum.
Aside from Cherwonik, Javier E. Ferrer, 41, also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright violation for participating in IMAGiNE. He will be sentenced in March and is currently faces a maximum 5-year jail term. Sean Lovelady, 28, was given 23 months prison term a few weeks ago and had agreed to cooperate with the police. Then Willie Lambert, 57, was handed 30 months and ordered to pay $450,000 in damages. Jeremiah Perkins will also be sentenced in January after pleading guilty to a criminal copyright charge.
Cherwonik got the record term because he was described as the system operator of the IMAGiNE group. Moreover, the prosecutors claimed that he continued as the outfit’s leader for a year after his home was searched by the police.
December 13th,2012Posted by:
Thursday, December 13th, 2012
|Wonder when they will start handing sentences out as harsh as this to corrupt politicians bankers, police and the rich , why wonder it wont happen ...... i am sure inside prison he will be well looked after as he in effect a modern day robin hood ,robbing from the rich and givin to us poor....... i know he deserved prison time but 3.5 years is harsh|
|A modern day Robin Hood lol lol I'm sure the gang members, murderers and rapists in prison will just worship this cammer. What an idiot #1 is.|
|Another example of how "Hollywood" has purchased control over politics and the "Courts" in the USA. Greedy people now make or bend the laws to suit themselves while trying to keep a dying business model alive. If the USA was actually "Free Enterprise" this would never happen. This is the "Digital Age", Vinyl & 8 track are as obsolete as their antique business model. They need to change & adapt to what modern people want, not purchase laws for their personal GREED. I'm proud to be an American and embarrassed at the same time..... Love thy Country, Hate thy Government.|
|posted by (2012-12-13 17:02:21)|
|the original article is on wired and they are known to bend things around a bit. I wouldn't put to much trust in what it says. it also stats that they CHANGED for there movies *could be a down right LIE*. "ordered to pay $450,000 in damages" again were are the damages? did they rune the screen or something?|
|@2 merry christmas to you|
|posted by (2012-12-13 17:23:00)|
|there is always something|
|@jj you ever been to prison ?|
|posted by (2012-12-13 18:58:49)|
|And that's why we should thank our ULs and releasers and seeeeeed.|
If I saw someone camming in the cinema I wouldn't tell on them. I'd ask what release group he was with and wish him good luck.
|he did no one any harm ,i wish him well|
|no number 4 damages are the money the movie company missed out on cause pepole like you an me downloaded an watched for free because they went an filmed it in the theaters|
|no hes never been to prison hes a goodie to shoes|
|posted by (2012-12-13 23:12:32)|
|Hahahahaha Love the names used ............. they might as well put Ben Dover behind bars then....|
|I hope these guys can get internet in prison and can carry on Gods will.Maybe a download or 2.Thanks Imagine for everything.|
|posted by (2012-12-14 01:20:03)|
|I see that for using a Camcorder to show movies.|
Have you seen the lootriot at theaters lately!
How else you gonna watch the film ~?~ LOL.
Seats screenparts speakers lenses even the redrope all go missing.
40 years for showing people they can do without for 40 years.
|Don't believe half of what you hear, and nothing that you read.Oh!and don't go to the movies and or buy music.Buck em all.Cheesecakes good though.|
|jj ur a f@#king jizz guzzling asswipe!!! why don't u f@#cking get off of E.T u piece of [email protected]!!|
|posted by (2012-12-14 03:19:26)|
|There are a few issues these people are overlooking.|
1) these are not 'Hardened' criminals, and will, most likely, be in a minimum security facility. (especially considering how overcrowded the med & max security prisons are.) so rapists and Murderers will be rare.
2) ALL Minimum & Medium security prison internet activity is VERY closely monitored (no Internet in MAX security), and illegal activity is guaranteed to either extend your sentence or reduce your chances of parole, so will likely be avoided be the inmates.
|I'm in prison now, typing on PC in commissary getting excellent upload and download speeds to. All the murderers and rapists respect me and they keep me in plenty of chocolate, cigarettes and transexuals......|
|That's not good for us. I did not except that IMAGINE as a group, as I thought it was one user doing it. Recently I have been checking torrents around the globe some are using IMAGINE as a mo and putting fuse torrents. which may turn 40 years + instead of 40.|
|First,@Cat_Minister,it was rumored:"the Cat_Minister"had gotten squashed by an 18 wheeler,lol It,truly,saddens & disgust me;|
that my government would stoop that low to give out that kind of sentence! man,I'm angry!can't continue..tyvm Imagine for
sacrificing & standing up to "the Corp-Scum"
|hope this isn't R.I.P for imagine..the p2p world should back them up by writing to their government..|
|or get anonymous..powerful group..I'll copy and paste the article on 4chan..|
|Interesting - Multiple unrelated individual pursue the illegal content acquisition activity for NEW content.|
At the same time just as with music - sharing sites and apps :youtube,utorrent ;as well as Hard disk space and bandwidth - are making the largest files - the film/movie files - easier to access store and share.
So you currently Have a situation where the poorest are virtually equal to the rich when it comes to access to content - but the primary restrictions on acquisition and accumulation of wealth remain the same.
|LMFAO!! 40 months?? a walk in the park!! how about those that get 10 years for conspiracy for bumping into some one they are not meant to see!! They all got off very lightly both in the fines and amount of jail time. It could have been a lot worse.|
PMSL - or get anonymous..powerful group - lets email them to death!! who are they going to attack the judge, the bails bondsman?? the cinema attended that caught them?? or the nice lady selling popcorn in the foyer
So you currently Have a situation where the poorest are virtually equal to the rich when it comes to access to content - um NO!! Albert Stainoz V's Legal aid not very equal now is it!
|better than listening to your dribble..love to see you try to do 40 months! a walk in the park my ass!!|
|I dont have any respect for cherwoki at all. not only did HE get riaded well before their site was even up, but he seemingly didnt tell them others about it and kept doign the site and the releases. Causing a lot of security issues. And then he was the one that handed over screen shots of staff chats. and the reason its 40 months is BECAUSE of his ego of continuing the releasing eve after the riad, and ths was pointed out by the judge.|
|Concerning #2's attack on #1. I spent many years in prison and I can assure you that every gang-member, murderer and rapist will always have the time to listen to an expert in any field of crime. They really are colleges of crime. One of the best hackers I ever met in prison was a guy doing time for his part in an international drug syndicate. It is easy to flame from a position of anonymity. Some might think that the IMAGINE crew and the like would be sent to a minimum security prison where the 'caliber' of prisoner is different? The fact is that towards the end of a prisoner's sentence they generally farm them out(murderers included)for two reasons: Firstly to win back some of the love that may have been lost after years of maltreatment at the hands of guards and secondly they don't want a repeat of Clyde Barrow's (1934 Eastham Prison) prison break assistance for former prison friends. If a guy is being released the next day it would be simple to ask him to throw a gun over a wall (for example). To expect the same inmate to do it in 2 or 3 years time is a big ask. A lot of inmates get on the booze or drugs upon release. To expect anything more than a Xmas card is pushing it. As far as Internet access goes. I don't know about the U.S but in Australia it is strictly out of the question although stand-alone computer-use goes back to the 80's.|
|A minimal sentence considering the 13 years received for the 6 pirated cd`s received by one person recently.|
To put this type of sentencing into perspective some 28 years ago in my youth I spent 3 yrs in a maximum prison in the UK for joint armed robbery of stolen goods from the thieves that stole it in the first instance and importation of 10 kilos of cannabis resin,both sentences were in my present opinion of more detriment to the public than any of these piracy charges and to call them criminals in the true sense of the word is laughable,they should all get community service.
|Some of the nicest guys I ever met were driven to murder and one guy of my acquaintance who topped 2 security guards and a police dog in a hold up of a security van was in charge of the laundry and made sure I had fresh clothes and linen everyday in return for books being reserved for him in the library as well as getting special diet supplements from a Libyan lifer for same.I was in as you might have guessed the library with 6 lifers doing 10-30yrs and without question some of the nicest human beings.I did learn long firming fraud,safe cracking,computer skills and a whole gamut of other knowledge along the way,so by penalising these individuals they may well not commit their previous offences but will learn to become real criminals by such sentences.|
|also learned Kaluki and became so good at it on association every evening would play for single skin reefers with 1 other inmate since played both wings and he was the only other con who could equal me,all the others played me for Mars bars and filled my cell with them and tobacco from trade offs|
|@Embolism well said mate .|
|posted by (2012-12-16 18:34:54)|
|killed two security guards + fresh clothes n linen for books dealer = nice?|
likely the families of the two killed people would think otherwise.
then again i'm an ok sort of guy really (altho I am considered a bad man) but if something in my life goes and i had a gun i would blow the [email protected] out of certain people. too few bullets too few minutes.
|@skreamer,yes Frankie quinn a very nice guy already served 12 years behind the door when I met him and serving a recommended 30 yrs @ HM`s pleasure and likely to die inside a prison,for such men (who even the guards are wary of)there is a code,they have nothing to lose and expect nothing for free such is the way so back scratching is a way of life inside.The fact that his punishment was to be locked away for the rest of his natural life did not detract from how he behaved to his fellows and in such was a very nice guy,also met those who had been pursued and persecuted by ex-girlfriends who lost it and cracked killing in frustration and anger,also nice guys with short fuses but paying for the consequences so punished enough and unable to turn back the clock,there but for the grace of God is you or me.The point being putting white collar cammers behind the door for 13 years will not rehabilitate them but institutionalise them and give them a hatred of authority and society in general whereby when they do come out it may be them holding up a security van or worse with learned skill sets.|
|In regards the guy that got 13 years for 6 cd`s it must be said the last person of my acquaintance that got 13 years was caught with 2.5 million in cocaine and a much more dangerous threat to society by his actions than a music pirate who should really get 100 hours community service in a just society.|
|what really troubles me as it should everyone else is the changing values in society when a murderer in the uk does approximately 10 years before coming up for parole and being set free under licence and at the same time a peddler of 6 cd`s gets 13 years,so the message we are being sent is next time someone tries to arrest you for peddling a few bent CD`s you best shoot him dead as you`ll do less time.|
|@Skreamer go back to T.V land in your cosy little bubble mate . You really have no clue mate . You can't see the wood for the trees chum .|
|@seeyouentee (love your nick,said phonetically made me pmsl)Skreamer obviously did`nt get the point initially maybe he does now and @JJ obviously has no clue since never been in such a situation those that have never been there rarely do get it,the purpose of a prison is to facilitate a place of detention and correction but by such extremes of sentencing for what in criminal terms is petty offences in regard copying films and music is really absurd when it costs the taxpayer to keep them in detention when they may pay society back in other ways without being a burden to it or becoming a hardened criminal by it.I know you get it.|
|Please forgive me me ,my Fellow ET Members;can't resist to ask:@Embolism,were there any arse-trades,besides "Mars Bars"??|
& 40 months=3yrs,4 months;it's been said "Fed-Time" for small timers supposed to be "Sweet" & "State-Time's" much tougher??? but,"jail's jail".Thanks for all the comments peeps & Happy Holidays everybody.oh,btw,@Embolism,"don't drop the saop in the shower"lmao,Peace,Bro..
|spelled SOAP wrong...lol|
|that's really a shame. I know the guy technically is guilty of copyright violations, but since the closest theater is 30 miles from my home, and given that I am in my mid 40s and disabled I do not go see movies in the theater (ever). I really think the MPAA needs to have a muzzle put on the 'damages' they get awarded in this sort of case. I seriously doubt that the studio lost an actual $450,000 from people whom would normally have gone to the theater, didn't and instead downloaded it (it's impossible to ever really prove just how much damage was done to the box office bottom line), but as with most everything in our legal system in the USA, it's always all about money (the root of all evil). Frankly these downloads have helped me save money, by not buying GARBAGE movies, which Hollywood seems to churn out plenty of these days. I don't mind paying for a quality product (currently I have between 2000-3000 DVDs all legally purchased), but I find most of the new releases are either yet another re-make of a previously done title, or a part of a series that just goes to complete garbage due to lack of good story lines and original content by part 6 or 10 (aside of the newest explosion, car chase, or gun violence, all with a large dose of sexual content), most of the offerings are lacking in value (especially at the prices they want for a 'new release'. Very few good titles released these days, and there is nothing I hate more than wasting $20 on a movie (that if you've seen a preview for it, you've seen the best parts already). When you live on a tiny fixed amount each month, it really makes a big difference for people such as myself.|
These damages need to undergo TORT reform just as the medical malpractice awards need to be done, but with a country over-loaded with lawyers they have to try and find a way to get the big bucks they all think they deserve, to support that living large lifestyle they all desire. Millions for spilling your coffee on yourself, Millions because you turned on the cruise control in your RV and went back to make yourself a drink. Lawsuits are merely another form of the lottery these days, only with a bit of your own stupidity on your part and a good lawyer, your odds are much better than the lottery at becoming a millionaire, based on the track record of recent cases and the SUPER-SIZED damages awarded for their 'emotional & mental suffering'. Not saying all the lawsuits lack merit, but far too many are mostly due to people being stupid or not reading the instructions (who needs those anyway). Sort of like the 6 average families whom set fire to their homes using turkey fryers (inside the garage), or (left unattended), but it must be the fault of the manufacturer, it couldn't be the user lacked basic common sense. So now you can't buy a turkey fryer that doesn't turn itself off every 5 minutes, which is a real pain in the posterior all because of a couple of dumb dumbos and their lack of judgement or foresight. Read a mini-marshmallow bag warnings, and it will prove my point, as it states "Choking Warning: Eat 1 at a time. Children should be seated and supervised when eating". Mandatory minimum sentences did nothing except flood our prisons with people whom really did not deserve the punishment they received, especially in the case of small amounts of cannabis leading to 5 years in prison, when if left alone they would have continued working their jobs and paying their taxes, instead we pay ever larger rates of taxes to pay for the incarceration of these highly dangerous people to society (look out, he's got a camera).
|hahaha @comicisd was a B category in HMP Dartmoor, UK prison and although there were the odd couple like crusher and Shirley who I heard stories about who were in HMP Longlarten were homosexuals all the other kiddie fiddlers,bent cops and grasses,rapists etc were on rule 43 and being a straight guy had no dangerous liaisons personally with anyone of the same gender,my girlfriend of the time would`ve emasculated any that even have dared proposition me.Luckily I was not in an American prison as Butt pirates are more prevalent I understand as is sharing a cell with another inmate called Bubba I believe.|
|@comicisd we in the UK do not have different Prisons as in federal or state I was in a C category prison unable to go out with the regular c category prisoners to work on the farm or roads and so was put in library with the lifers since a B category for violence and drugs @topaz18046 was correct that near the end of a long sentence or having short time remaining you do meet lifers in the same boat although there are exceptions to every rule in lifers case they generally move them about every 5 years or so from prison to prison and met lifers from Gartree,longlarten,Parkhurst,etc,etc as everyone starts from what they call dispersal or local prisons.|
|@comicisd also 3yrs 4 months was the person in questions sentence and to make it clear I was on a robbery stealing back stolen goods from thieves but during the commission of such 6 hostages with 2 tie ups guns ,knives and a baseball bat was in evidence as well as doing such from premises opposite a police station and also caught later importing 10.3 kilos of cannabis resin and had a total sentence of 3 years and 3 months,in retrospect i consider my actions much more detrimental to society than any white collar cammer or downloader of music or film and stand by the assertion they should get community service since not deserving of being in jail and not a menace to society.|
|@Lgreen311 is correct I am not sure what the cost to the American Taxpayer is for keeping a criminal in jail but giving community service costs nothing and is beneficial to society in general whereas making said cammers and disc pirates do large sentences equating to 40 yrs combined in this one case is a ludicrous waste of tax dollars in the current financial climate as well as detrimental to society since many will become recidivists after jail time and commit other crimes not being rehabilitated or institutionalised because of same neither is a good model for a safe and orderly society.|
|After brief research on the subject the cost of keeping inmates incarcerated in the USA is over 60 billion per year and statistics are over 1 in 100 citizens are in the United states penal system,with monitoring costs by the FBI,CIA and other agencies as well as ISP`s costing many,many millions more.|
|Another downside to the incarcerating of so many is the cheap labour force created by the said incarcerations and putting prisoners to work for peanuts creates more job losses outside prisons since the costs involved is lower than can be made outside said cheap labour force.|
|Yes ,it,certainly,would've been "easier"to have sentenced the Imagine guyz to community service to the MPAA;but so much money's|
paid to the Anti-P2P "watch dogs" & the "Lobby Flunkys";even some members of Congress & the Senate.I'm in the US,in fact residing in the 1st State to ,actually use Prison Labor,(*not 100% of it being FACT*)Louisiana*;but i'm from the "Die-Hard NY Yankee Town"
;so have seen many differences here.thank God @Embolism haven't met Bubba or as you say:"Butt Pirates"..lmfao! the stats say:
the United States have more of its citizens incarcerated than any other COUNTRY! I wonder WHY????? & before i forget; THANK YOU Sam for the many informative articles/post..Happy Holidays...
|thanks for the laughs @cosmicisd and merry Christmas to you also and to all @ET,a very good article SaM .joyeux noel et bonne annee.|
|26 posted by johnnysnake (2012-12-16 02:04:41) Better than listening to your dribble..love to see you try to do 40 months! a walk in the park my ass!!|
LMFAO!! sorry about the lateness of my reply just been wiping away the dribble!!
Why would I right it was a walk in the park if I have had no previous experience of jail!( 4 1/2 years(longer than 40 months!), 18 months, 14 months and many more smaller indiscretions!
Also if you take in the context of other famous Internet movie piracy case, Russell William Sprague fined just under $310,000 and would have served a minimum of 17 months - 3 years, but unfortunately died in jail after 9 months, originally cited with the distribution of 134 DVD screeners, but only charged/fined for 2 of them, and his unwitting accomplice Carmine Caridi, fined $300,000 again just for the release of 2 of the screeners.
While on the other hand the IMAGiNE group who have released probably thousands of movies onto the internet, they are looking at smaller fines, and about the same jail time, and in all reality if they behave in jail and get parole/early release its more than likely they will only serve 70-80% of their sentence.
|Sprague wow that was back in the day when they started all the copyright witch hunts ,closing down loki torrents and others 2004/2005,wonder what he would have thought of 13 years for 6 pirate CD`s,a daunting sentence to be sure and still they persevere pumping more money into chasing people for cams and screeners when most people who like them go to see the real deal if its any good in the first place these days and so its free advertising for the producers of the films and leads to other avenues of revenue,pretty sure when the late mr sprague (RIP)did his screeners that most were given out freely to people as a run up to the academy awards and his efforts probably aided in people frequenting cinemas at the time in some small part by those that wanted to see it on the big screen without the watermarks in the film.Much the same today with cams of 3D releases in 2 D that are blurry,monochromatic with audio hiss and language issues and too dark in places which only give a glimpse of the quality of the storyline and without the effects both audio and visual in the cinemas, but are enough to make people want to see the real deal if they are any good.I strongly believe in most instances they should reward rather than penalise cammers for the efforts to advertise their movies and distribute to those potential customers they do not reach or who do not believe the 2 minutes of snippets in trailers as being representational of the films they represent as a whole.|
|51 posted by Embolism (2012-12-20 05:14:26) Sprague wow that was back in the day.|
LOL yeah that far back some of them were VHS screeners!
|Still keep a few antique ones lying about for my tape collection.|
|10 more years and they will be en vougue and worth money||
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