Remember a couple years back when the new “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” movie leaked on the web prematurely? And when we say prematurely, we’re talking several months in advance. (The film hadn’t even finished being edited yet!)

Well….the guy that uploaded the movie was sentenced to a year in federal prison:

Gilberto Sanchez has been sentenced to one year in federal prison for uploading an unfinished version of the X-Men Origins: Wolverine film to his Megaupload account.

The film was subsequently shared across the internet resulting in millions of infringements according to prosecutors. Nevertheless, the 20th Century Fox flick ended up grossing $373 million worldwide.

In March, Sanchez pleaded guilty to one count of uploading a copyrighted work being prepared for commercial distribution.

However, he claims that he bought the movie on a Bronx street corner near his home but the original source of the workprint was never identified. US attorney Andre Birotte Jr. had this to say in response to the ruling:

“The federal prison sentence handed down in this case sends a strong message of deterrence to would-be Internet pirates. The Justice Department will pursue and prosecute persons who seek to steal the intellectual property of this nation.”

[The Verge]

Wow! So even though Fox made close to $375 million … they still prosecuted the guy and put him in jail … FOR A YEAR?! For downloading a movie. An unfinished movie, that eventually went on to make well over $300 million.

Yet, there are still hardened criminals on the streets today, right this very second … and the law chooses to spend time and money prosecuting people who upload movies on the Internet.

Your thoughts?