Fresno, CA — A Fresno, California, man is facing prison after allegedly uploading the movie Deadpool to his Facebook account. Twenty-one-year-old Trevon Maurice Franklin was arrested and charged with copyright infringement Tuesday morning following a federal investigation that accused him of uploading the Hollywood blockbuster eight days after its release in theaters in February 2016.
According to a statement released by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California:
“Franklin is charged in a one-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on April 7 with reproducing and distributing a copyrighted work, a felony offense that carries a statutory maximum penalty of three years in federal prison.”
Federal prosecutors allege that “more than 5 million people were able to view the film copyrighted by the Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.”
Attorney Roger Bonakdar told local ABC outlet KFSN-TV that social media cases can be more challenging for prosecutors to argue than traditional copyright ones. “You can track how many clicks, but there will be a question as to who watched the whole thing,” Bonakdar he said. “What’s the real damage?”
Given the length of the investigation, it’s evident the FBI is taking this case very seriously. “They are trying to send a message with this case,” Bonakdar said. “To the community to warn them that there are very serious consequences to something they think is innocuous.”