A Mount Vernon, Ill., man was sentenced in the Eastern District of Virginia to two years in prison for the unlawful sale of copyrighted videogames.
U.S. District Court Judge Leonie M. Brinkema also ordered Timothy W. Hall, 35, to pay a $1,200 fine and serve a term of three years of supervised release.
On May 8, 2007, Hall pleaded guilty to one count of criminal copyright infringement for his unlawful distribution of hundreds of thousands of copyrighted works on his website. From at least March 2006 until September 2006, Hall had operated the website, http://www.morbidbackups.net, from his residence in Mount Vernon, Ill. On the site, Hall advertised the sale of hundreds of copyrighted video games on recordable compact disc for the Xbox, GameCube, PlayStation 2, and other video game platforms. He also offered DVDs containing copyrighted movies and television programs. Hall admitted that from approximately 2001 until the fall of 2006, he was paid more than $266,000 for the unlawful reproduction and distribution of the copyrighted works.
On May 10, 2006, an online undercover agent of the FBI placed an order on the defendant's website for copies of 70 different Xbox video game titles and 48 episodes of the television series "24" on DVD. On Aug. 7, 2006, the agent received a package containing his order at a location in the Eastern District of Virginia. The package contained 83 unlabeled Memorex DVDs which contained the copyrighted works that the agent had ordered.
The defendant completed thousands of transactions including more than 100 sales of pirated works to individuals located in the Eastern District of Virginia. The defendant received more than $3,000 in revenues from these particular sales.
The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Washington Field Office. The Entertainment Software Association, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and their member companies assisted and cooperated with the FBI's investigation in this case. This case was prosecuted by Senior Counsel Jay Prabhu of the Criminal Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Morton J. Posner of the Eastern District of Virginia.