Three Brothers Face Criminal Charges for Operating Piracy Website

Legal

Trio arraigned on counts of conspiracy, receiving stolen property, grand theft

Three brothers from Northern California were arraigned in an Alameda County court for allegedly operating the website mediamp4.com, which allowed users to stream more than 1,000 copyrighted TV and movie titles on computers and mobile devices.

Among the titles were the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” and films like “Black Swan” and “Tangled.”

California’s attorney general, Kamala Harris, announced the charges on Friday. Hop Hoang, 26, Tony Hoang, 23, and Huynh Hoang, 20, were arraigned on one count each of conspiracy, four counts of receiving stolen property and one count of grand theft. They could face up to five years in prison. Hop Hoang pled not guilty, and the other two brothers are scheduled to be back in court on June 18 to assign public counsel.

“This case sends a clear message that the California Department of Justice will investigate digital piracy and prosecute violators to the fullest extent of the law,” Harris said in a statement. Her office said that through the 18 months of the site’s operation, the brothers earned $150,000 in ad revenue, and that one of the brothers said that traffic was generated through Google search ads.

Harris’ office said that the MPAA sent a cease and desist letter to Tony Hoang for operating iphoneTVshows,net and moviephone.net, but they continued to operate under a new domain name.

The investigation was conducted by the eCrime unit of the attorney general’s office, the California Highway Patrol and a task force that specializes in identity theft and cyber crimes, REACT.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 4

Leave a Reply

4 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Really says:

    This is, and always has been a gap in the market not filled by industry. We need a robust online streaming presence from the industry to fight piracy. There is no other effective long term solution that will work. These guys had one site and their are thousands of sites many beyond the reach of the US. There should be a realistic approach, an examination of why people turn to piracy in the first place. Is there perhaps a need online that is not being fulfilled by industry. Food for thought.

  2. Hiram Miggs says:

    As usual, Google enabled the profit making. If Google set up even minimal safeguards to avoid putting its ads on pirate sites, most of the piracy would disappear overnight…because there’d be no way to monetize the piracy.

  3. Jay Maybruck says:

    I agree this is crime. This should be punished by high fines and community service. We jail enough non-violent offenders already.

  4. This is just a statement to say Our Attorney General for the California has shown to be the hardest most dedicated person in Government. Taking on crime that others overlook. God Bless you and your team who work around the clock to keep us safe. Rev. Tonette Henry

More Biz News from Variety

Loading