After learning that a version of its film, The Hulk, had become available for illegal downloading on the Internet two weeks before its theatrical release, Universal initiated an immediate investigation and then referred the matter to the FBI. The Department of Justice took immediate action on the matter and today, Kerry Gonzalez, the individual who posted The Hulk on the Internet, pled guilty to felony copyright infringement; he faces a sentence of up to three years in federal prison.
“We are deeply grateful to the FBI and the Department of Justice for their prompt action in finding and punishing the individual responsible for posting a version of ‘The Hulk’ on the Internet,” said Karen Randall, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Vivendi UNIVERSAL Entertainment.
“This investigation proves decisively that the Internet is not an anonymous place, and illegal conduct is transparent and traceable. Universal Studios will pursue aggressively and hold accountable to the fullest extent of the law those who steal or abuse its intellectual property by illegally uploading or downloading it on the Internet.”
Rick Finkelstein, President and Chief Operating Officer, Universal Pictures, added, “It took almost two years to complete the ‘The Hulk.’ Given the extraordinary level of talent, significant cost and tireless effort that went into creating this outstanding entertainment experience, we believe ‘The Hulk’ and all of our films deserve to be enjoyed in their optimal form and environment. Unfortunately, there is a small group of people who feel it is acceptable to steal our copyrighted films and make them available for free. Obviously, if this behavior went unchecked, we would not be able to produce and deliver films of the caliber of ‘The Hulk’ to the movie going public at large. We owe it to our filmmakers and to the millions and millions of law abiding citizens who enjoy the movie-going experience week in and week out as one of their primary forms of entertainment to aggressively pursue those responsible for the theft of our property, and we intend to do just that.”