More than 4,500 Bootlegged Video Tapes
Three Others Have Recently Been Convicted for Aiding and Abetting the DMCA violation
SACRAMENTO . United States Attorney John K. Vincent announced today that MOHSIN MYNAF, 37, of Vacaville, California, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge David F. Levi to 24 months in federal prison, a three year term of supervised release, a $1,600 special assessment, and also ordered to pay approximately $201,738.70 in restitution for engaging in six counts of criminal copyright infringement; six counts of trafficking in counterfeit labels; and one count of circumventing a technological measure that protects a copyright work (the .Digital Millennium Copyright Act”). As part of his plea agreement, MYNAF agreed to the forfeiture of the equipment he used to commit the copyright violations, the forfeiture of $5,000, and the destruction of a substantial amount of property used to commit the copyright violations.
MYNAF pled guilty on March 28, 2002. On October 31, 2002, he also pled guilty to three additional counts, including Unlawful Use of A Means of Identification of Another Person; Possession with Intent to Use or Transfer Unlawfully Five or More Identification Documents; and Possession of Unauthorizedly Produced United States Government Identification Document. According to court documents, more than 4,500 bootlegged video tapes were found on December 5th, and 6th, 2001 during the service of five federal search warrants at three video stores (Video Stop, 1100 Marshall Road, Suite A, B, C, D, Vacaville, California; Videoland, 2147 North Texas Street, Fairfield, California; and Videoland, 128 Robles Way, Vallejo, California), a Vacaville storage facility rented by defendant MYNAF, and the defendant’s Vacaville residence. According to the plea agreement, at the MYNAF residence, agents found a movie videocassette reproduction lab with equipment hooked up to manufacture counterfeit movie videocassettes and labels. The equipment included approximately eighteen video cassette recorders, equipment used to bypass videocassette copyright protections, and printers. Defendant MYNAF utilized some of the equipment, including the SIMA Video Copy Master, to circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to copyrighted works. This case represents the first criminal conviction and sentence in California under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which was enacted in October 1998. The provision under which defendant MYNAF was convicted prohibits anyone from willfully, and for purposes of commercial advantage and private financial gain, circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls or safeguards access to a work protected under the copyright laws. This is the first known DMCA prosecution targeting the circumvention of security measures placed on analog videocassettes. This case is only the second known criminal conviction in the country under the DMCA. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nebraska successfully prosecuted an individual concerning a modified chip that circumvented a Sony software security measure to allow the Sony Playstation to play unauthorized copies of copyright protected Sony computer games. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark L. Krotoski, who prosecuted the case, three other individuals have been convicted for their role in aiding and abetting MYNAF in violating the DMCA. On May 23, 2002, Mohammad Anwar Shafi pled guilty to one count of aiding and abetting the circumvention of a technological measure that effectively controls access to a copyrighted work. On June 18, 2002, Siriporn Rojanachaichain, defendant Mynaf’s wife, pled guilty to the same charge. On February 11, 2003, Shoaib Aziz pled guilty to the same offense. Their sentencing hearings are pending.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Fairfield Office with the assistance of the Vacaville Police Department and the Motion Picture Association of America.
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