34-year-old Juan Carlos Soto of Los Banos filed a petition for release and for formal probation on December 16, and was denied. On June 21, 2010, Soto had been arrested for selling bootlegged DVD’s and CD’s from his white van while parked on Loma Verde in San Jose. Soto had with him more than 700 pirated DVD’s and several hundred CD’s.
Soto was found guilty under PC350 (A) on May 5, 2011 for selling the pirated material. Soto admitted to knowing that the material was pirated and that he should not have been selling them. Soto said he was able to sell them for $3.00 each and “makes a pretty good living off of them.”
As a result of Soto’s arrest, two companies contacted by the District Attorney’s office came forward and requested restitution for the thefts. The first victim, Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., stated that because of his illegal activity they felt that he owed them $5,784.80 for stolen property as a result of this crime.
The second victim, Recording Industry Association of America, estimated the loss at $250.00 from counterfeit CD’s. According to the RIAA, “The courts have consistently ruled that many peer-to-peer (P2P) programs and other unauthorized uploading and downloading inherently amount to copyright infringement and therefore constitute a crime.”
Total restitution was ordered in the amount of $6,043.80 to the victims pursuant PC 4.530(f) (3) under the charge of Counterfeit Regulation Trade Mark Infringement.
The MPAA identifies several types of theft used by most thieves. The MPAA states that people using camcorders are responsible for “ninety percent of newly released movies that are pirated [and] can be traced to thieves who use a digital recording device in a movie theater to literally steal the image and/or sound off the screen”.
Peer-to-peer or downloading of movies from sites between other users is also considered a crime, because it can usually be accessed by millions of people worldwide. Counterfeit products harm the movie production industry by stealing their intellectual property to do business. According to the MPAA the movie industry supports “more than 2 million jobs, including truck drivers, architects, accountants, make-up artists, animators, costumers, digital effects technicians, set-builders and more.”
Soto’s next court hearing in an appeal for his release from jail has been set for December 31 at 9:00 AM in Dept. 23.