×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Man Who Pirated ‘The Revenant’ Ordered to Pay $1.1 Million to 20th Century Fox

A federal judge this week ordered a California man who had pleaded guilty to stealing copies of “The Revenant” and “The Peanuts Movie” from 20th Century Fox and sharing them illegally via a piracy website to pay the studio $1.12 million in restitution.

William Kyle Morarity, 31, of Lancaster, Calif., was sentenced for felony criminal copyright infringement after he admitted swiping screeners of the films when he was working on the studio’s lot last year. This week U.S. District Court Judge Stephen V. Wilson sentenced him to eight months’ home detention and 24 months’ probation, in addition to the fine. Morarity had been facing a maximum sentence of up to three years in federal prison.

Using the screen name “clutchit,” Morarity uploaded “The Revenant” to a torrent website called Pass the Popcorn six days before the movie’s debut in a limited theatrical release on Christmas Day 2015, according to authorities. More than 1 million users downloaded the film over a six-week period, causing Fox to lose more than $1 million.

“The defendant’s illegal conduct caused significant harm to the victim movie studio,” Eileen M. Decker, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, said in a statement. “The fact that the defendant stole these films while working on the lot of a movie studio makes his crime more egregious.”

Popular on Variety

The Revenant” ended up grossing $183.6 million at the U.S. box office, plus $349.3 million internationally, according to Box Office Mojo. Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and star Leonardo DiCaprio both won Academy Awards for their work on the film.

According to officials, Morarity has agreed to assist the FBI in producing a public service announcement about the harms of copyright infringement and piracy. Morarity copied the Fox screeners onto a portable drive and uploaded the movies from his home computer on Dec. 17 and 19, 2015.

More Digital

  • The Simpsons - Disney parodies -

    Disney Mashes Up 'The Simpsons' Parodies of Disney Films, Theme Parks

    Disney has embraced some of the gentle ribbing dished out by “The Simpsons” over the years — hoping to convince more people to sign up for Disney Plus. The media conglomerate released a compilation of what it calls “the best Disney references in ‘The Simpsons,'” which is now part of the Disney empire, with past [...]

  • NATPE 2020 Miami Fontainebleau Hotel

    NATPE 2020: Bumpy Start But Business Is Humming as Conference Begins

    MIAMI — A technology meltdown at Fontainebleau Miami Beach made for a bumpy start to getting settled at NATPE for numerous executives and producers who arrived here over the weekend. Nonetheless, the core business of the content-sales gathering was humming as numerous distributors reported new deals and renewal pacts inked over the past few days. [...]

  • Baby Yoda The Mandalorian

    Disney Plus Set for Earlier Launch in U.K. & Western Europe

    The Walt Disney Co. has set March 24 as the new launch date for Disney Plus in the U.K. and other key markets across Western Europe. With the roll-out previously set for March 31, the streaming service will now be available a week earlier in the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland. Pricing [...]

  • Medici TV Show

    Vuulr Online Rights Market Makes Global Expansion at NATPE

    Singapore-based Vuulr, an online content marketplace for film and TV rights, is expanding from regional to global operations. The move was announced ahead of NATPE, one of the oldest face-to-face TV rights markets, this week launching its tenth edition in Miami, Florida (Jan 21-23). The Vuulr platform is free to use for buyers and for [...]

  • Loic Barche on Short 'The Atomic

    Loic Barche on Short 'The Atomic Adventure,' Upcoming Feature Debut 'Feu de Paille'

    “The Atomic Adventure,” a contender in UniFrance’s online MyFrenchFilmFestival, is the third short from Loïc Barché (“Goliath,” “Le Commencement”). Variety talked to the director about the short, and his feature debut “Feu de Paille.” “The Atomic Adventure,” produced by young French outfits Punchline Cinéma and Leonis Productions, is set in 1961 in Algeria, where France [...]

  • The Isle of the Dead

    UniFrance Puts Spotlight on Emerging French VR Sector at Rendez-Vous

    France has a burgeoning eco-system of virtual reality and augmented reality producers, and is one of Europe’s leading VR/AR hubs. The UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in Paris, a showcase of French projects that wraps Monday, included a VR/AR showcase, with recent projects demonstrated by Wide Management VR, VRrOOm and Atlas V. UniFrance’s online MyFrenchFilm [...]

  • Blood Oath

    MBC Studios to Launch Arabic TV Series 'Blood Oath,' Written by Britain's Tony Jordan

    MBC Studios, the Saudi-owned production unit of top Middle Eastern free-to-air satellite network MBC Group is set to launch “Blood Oath,” an Arabic crime series written by Britain’s Tony Jordan (“EastEnders,” “Life on Mars”). The announcement comes as Dubai-based MBC Studios, set up in 2018 and headed by former president of NBCUniversal International Peter Smith, is [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content