FBI makes arrest in Wolverine piracy case

First high profile law enforcement move since the leak is underway.

x-men-origins-wolverine-1501The Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) has made an arrest over a copy of the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine that was publicly leaked earlier this year.

A spokesperson from the Los Angeles field office, which is handling the investigation, confirmed to CNet that Gilberto Sanchez had been arrested on 16 December 2009 in the Bronx district of New York City. The FBI accuses Sanchez, 47, of copyright infringement, for allegedly uploading the unfinished workprint of Wolverine to the internet in April.

The leak of the film was widely reported and immediately referred to the FBI by Fox, the company that produced the film. Other controversies involving the situation followed, such as Fox columnist Roger Friedman being fired for reviewing the pirated copy of the film.

If convicted, Sanchez faces up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If the cost of twice the gross gain or loss sustained by the action is greater, however, he would have to pay that instead. The indictment claims that he allegedly uploaded the film to an online filesharing website under a pseudonym, however, it doesn’t specify how Sanchez would have come into possession of a copy of the film in the first place. The FBI has refused to rule out future arrests.

Wolverine ended up making around $350 million at the box office, at an estimated cost to Fox of $100 million. The film, directed by Gavin Hood, starred Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds among others. The case continues.