Cape Town -
A man accused of contravening copyright laws by pirating the movie Four Corners has pleaded guilty to charges against him.
Four Corners is a production of Giant Films about gang culture on the Cape Flats and had gained popularity on Pirate Bay before its official release on March 28.
Majedien Machos Norton, 29, appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday, when he entered into a plea agreement with the State.
He was charged with contravening the Copyright Act of 1978 read with the Registration of Copyright in Cinematograph Films Act of 1977 and for contravening the Films and Publications Act of 1996.
The plea agreement states that Norton received a pirated copy of the film from a friend, Leccue Jonathan, who had bought it in Parow.
He uploaded it on the internet, which was shared with the public.
The agreement stated: “The accused (Norton) acknowledges that he was naive and did not think about the dire consequences that may be suffered by the producers and/or distributors of the film in the process.”
He had helped with the removal of the film from Pirate Bay and had co-operated with investigators.
The plea agreement said he was remorseful for his actions and had apologised to the court and the filmmakers.
Norton received a three-year suspended sentence for contravening the copyright laws. He was further fined R3 000 or a six-month suspended sentence for contravention of the Films and Publications Act.
Presiding Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg said the sentence was “just in its totality”.
It emerged in court papers that investigators had picked up on Norton’s piracy from a tweet. Investigators saw a tweet asking if anyone had seen the movie.
Investigators found the movie available on Pirate Bay, a file-sharing site.