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First pirated ‘Simpsons’ movie on the Internet tracked to Australian man

The first known pirated copy of ”The Simpsons Movie” uploaded on the Internet was tracked to a home raided by Australian police Friday, a film industry group said.

An international operation involving the movie’s owner Fox, Australian police, and the private investigation group Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft resulted in the copy’s removal from the Internet, the Motion Picture Association said in a statement.

Police ordered a 21-year-old man in Sydney suspected of having uploaded the movie to appear in a Sydney court in October when he will be formally charged, the Australian Federal Police said in a statement. Details of the likely charge and penalties have not been made public.

AFACT said the illegal ”Simpsons” copy was the first on the Internet and was recorded by a cell phone in a Sydney cinema on July 26 – hours before its release across most of the world.

The movie was uploaded to a United States-based global streaming Web site before it was screened in U.S. theaters.

”Within 72 hours of making and uploading this unauthorized recording, AFACT had tracked it to other streaming sites and P2P (peer-to-peer) systems, where it had been illegally downloaded in excess of 110,000 times, and in all probability, copied and sold as a pirate DVD all over the world,” AFACT executive director Adrianne Pecotic said.

The Motion Picture Association represents the interests of major motion picture companies, conducts investigations on their behalf, and assists with criminal and civil litigation.

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