Entire film was on Facebook page while movie was still in theaters, racked up 5 million views

A Fresno, Calif., man allegedly posted a copy of the movie “Deadpool” on his Facebook page while the hit film was still in theaters, according to the U.S. Justice Department, which charged him with copyright infringement.

Trevon Maurice Franklin, 21 years old, used the screen name “ Tre-Von M. King ” to upload the movie barely a week after its release on Feb. 12, 2016. The movie was on the page for around two days and racked up at least 5 million views before Facebook Inc. took it down, according to the Justice Department.

An attorney for Mr. Franklin couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. Mr. Franklin was due to appear in U.S. District Court in Fresno on Tuesday afternoon.

Leaks of films are hardly unheard of, but Mr. Franklin’s case stands out, according to a spokesman for the Justice Department, who said it is very rare to see a pirated movie on a site as popular as Facebook.

Instead, illicit copies of movies are typically distributed in less-obvious nooks of the internet, such as BitTorrent and anonymous “locker” sites.

The Justice Department spokesman said it was the film’s distributor, Twentieth Century Fox, that discovered the post, not Facebook. Fox then notified Facebook and asked to have the post taken down.

Fox, a unit of 21st Century Fox Inc., declined to comment on Mr. Franklin’s arrest or to say how it discovered the uploaded movie, which is nearly two hours long.

A Facebook spokeswoman couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.

21st Century Fox and News Corp , the parent of The Wall Street Journal, share common ownership.

 

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