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Intellectual Property Rights

Pennsylvania man charged with pirating movies and TV shows

PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania man was charged May 15 with smuggling goods into the United States, trafficking in counterfeit labels and criminal copyright infringement. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Brian Bethman, 38, of Lafayette Hill, is charged with smuggling in more than 6,000 audiovisual copies of movies and television shows that were protected by copyright between April 2010 and April 2011. The television shows included, but were not limited to, House, Criminal Minds, NCIS, Weeds, The Office, and Royal Pains; the movies included, but were not limited to, Justfied, The Pacific, Dead Like Me, and Bambi.

If convicted, Bethman faces up to 30 years in prison.

A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.