Intellectual Property

Americans to be jailed in Shanghai for DVD piracy

DVD_pirates_in_court.jpg

Two foreigners with amusing names — the cartoon East-Coast-aristocrat Randolph Hobson Guthrie III and his sidekick Cody Abram Thrush — have been given jail terms by a Shanghai court for DVD piracy. Guthrie has been described by the New York Post as "the black-sheep scion of one of the city's oldest, wealthiest and most socially prominent families".

Xinhua reports on Guthrie's new living arrangements in Shanghai:

Randolph Hobson Guthrie III, the prime culprit, was sentenced to 30 months' jail and fined 500,000 yuan (US$60,459).

Three accomplices - Wu Dong, Cody Abram Thrush, and Wu Shibiao were all given jail terms ranging up to 15 months and fines of between 10,000 (US$1,209) and 30,000 yuan (US$3,628).

The two Americans will be expelled from the country after serving their prison terms, the judge pronounced.

Police revealed the four had sold pirated DVDs for US$3 each through eBay and another website called "Three Dollar DVD" from November 3, 2003, to July 1, 2004.

According to receipts from courier companies and data seized from the Guthrie's computer, police estimated that more than 180,000 pirate DVDs worth more than 7 million yuan (US$840,000) had been sold by the company.

Based on evidence provided, a judge of the Shanghai No 2 Intermediate People's Court found that they had sold about 133,000 pirate DVDs worth more than 3.3 million yuan (US$393,000) to more than 20 countries including the United States, Australia, Britain and Canada and earned nearly 1 million yuan (US$120,900) from the business.

The image above was taken from Xinhua's article and shows, from left to right, Wu Dong, Randolph Hobson Guthrie III, Wu Shibiao and Cody Abram Thrush.

LINKS:
Xinhua: Two Americans get jail for DVD piracy
China Herald: Report on Guthrie's arrest in July 2004
New York Post: China nabs posh 'pirate' (includes Guthrie's family background)

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