U.S. Department of Justice - CyberCrime.gov Archived

Copyright Cases - U.S. v. Abugan (C.D. Cal.)

March 4, 2005

Department Of Justice
Central District of California
United States Attorney
Debra W. Yang
Thom Mrozek, Public Affairs Officer
(213) 894-6947

Corona, California Man Faces Federal Criminal Charges for Uploading 'Finding Neverland' to the Internet

A Corona man was charged today with criminal copyright infringement for uploading onto the Internet a copy of the movie "Finding Neverland" that had been sent to a "screener" for the Producers Guild of America.

Rolyn Abugan, 24, was charged in a criminal complaint that was filed this afternoon in United States District Court in Los Angeles. Special Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation served Abugan with a copy of the complaint and a summons that directs him to appear in federal court for his initial appearance on March 21.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, a copy of the film "Finding Neverland" was posted on the Internet in December 2004. The film, which was posted on a pirated movie website, was available for download. Walt Disney Company, which owns the copyright to the film, was able to determine that the source of the copy of "Finding Neverland" that was on the Internet was a DVD copy of the film that had been sent to a screener for the Producers Guild of America in early December. (A PGA screener is a member of the organization who is allowed to vote for the group's annual awards.) Without the screener's knowledge, the DVD was loaned to Abugan's roommate, who allowed Abugan to make a copy. Abugan then, on his own, sent the movie to an Internet group that posted the film on the Internet for download.

Richard T. Garcia, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI in Los Angeles, stated: "This investigation is one of many joint efforts of the United States Attorney's Office and the FBI to protect the intellectual property that is vital to our nation's economy, and our position in creative and high technology fields."

The complaint charges Abugan with a misdemeanor violation of a copyright for copying and distributing "Finding Neverland." If convicted, Abugan faces up to one year in federal prison and a fine of $100,000.

A complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

CONTACT:  Assistant United States Attorney Brian Hoffstadt  (213) 894-6482

Release No. 05-041


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