When we post on Facebook, the content we put out there often feels disconnected from the real world. However, these seemingly-harmless broadcasts can have huge real-world ramifications. That was the case this week when a man was arrested and charged with copyright infringement for posting the movie “Deadpool” to his Facebook page. If convicted, he faces up to three years in federal prison.
According to officials, 21-year-old Trevon Maurice Franklin posted the video to a Facebook page named “Tre-Von M. King” days after the film’s February 2016 release. It was viewed more than 5 million times before being removed several days later. The charge of “reproducing and distributing a copyrighted work” is a felony offense, and Franklin could find himself in deep trouble if convicted.
The fact that Franklin posted the video under a fake name illustrates that he knew what he was doing was wrong. Instances of piracy like this are rarely prosecuted, but the fact he bootlegged the film right after it came out and the film’s massive box office success likely led to Franklin getting caught. Of course, the lesson for law-abiding users is simple: be careful what you post, and even what you re-post. Sharing illegal content like this could get the sharer in trouble, too.