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Oscar screener pirate found dead in jail cell

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Mar 2005 9:38 User comments (18)

Oscar screener pirate found dead in jail cell If you think back to the headlines in January 2004, you may remember that actor Carmine Caridi was questioned by investigators after screener copies of motion pictures for award consideration that were sent to him, leaked onto the Internet. Some of the titles were "Something's Gotta Give," "The Last Samurai," "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" and "Thirteen". Invisible watermarks on the screeners lead investigators to Caridi.
It later emerged that Caridi had sent his screeners to Russell Sprague, who he believed was simply a movie enthusiast. However Russell had alternative plans and made copies of the movies instead, which then appeared on the Internet. He was facing up to three years in prison and was to be sentenced on March 21st. However, Sprague has been found dead in a Los Angeles prison cell.

His body was discovered on Monday and the US Marshals Service suspects he may have died of a heart attack. He had pleaded guilty to copyright infringement in a Los Angeles court last April. Caridi also was fined $300,000 for providing Sprague with the screeners in November. It is also believed that he was expelled from the Academy for the Screener leaks.


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18 user comments

12.3.2005 06:53

Damn...first the MPAA hunts us down all over the world, manipulating governments to prosecute children for being Intelligent enough to write a program for their Linux system...And now the MPAA is having people killed in prison!!!!! And people are worried about the US being the New World order.

22.3.2005 08:49

watch out, theyr'e gonna start releasing decoy movie files that are extra high in cholesterol. Heart attacks for everyone who opposes them.

32.3.2005 10:02

maybe its big business thats the NWO not the govt. this sounds like something the russian mob would do.

42.3.2005 10:06

What happens if your cought within the United States with a pirated DVD after intensionaly purchinsing it from overseas? Its just something that I have wondered. Is it a fine or do they put you in the slammer? I dont buy them...ive never left the contry before.

52.3.2005 11:32

I believe in the U.S. that would be the death penalty. no ,for real, you might get a warning or a ticket.

62.3.2005 11:44

Maybe he wasn't tough enough. Here's what the result is, after all this bull**** suing etc. We have a man out of a job, and a man that is dead.

72.3.2005 12:36

From the article:

invisible watermarks on the screeners lead investigators to Caridi.
If they are "invisible" then how are they detected? Wouldn't Sprague have noticed the watermark before he released them to the web?

82.3.2005 13:04

HOLYSH**....I know what it was now!!!! It was the gawddamn "tracker chips" (water marks my arse) apparently the guy did not follow the instructions...poor sod. had he only been here to read all the Phucing instructions.

92.3.2005 13:25

ultra violet or black light shows things normal light dosen't

102.3.2005 15:33

The "Invisible Watermark" would probably be 1 single frame in the film that has a number in the would be that quick that it would be impossible the find unless you know what minute and second of the film it was in. If you knew where it was, it would take about 1 minute to find

112.3.2005 17:08

Pop_Smith, probably wouldnt be able to see the watermarks with your eyes, but could be picked up by a computer quite easily!

122.3.2005 17:38

thats true :(

143.3.2005 00:45

In a related story, in collaberation with Steven Speilberg and Jim Carrey, the Mpaa has released a short film warning of the hazards of illegally distributing copyrighted film. after a stirring performance from Carey, the screen fades to black.. and it says : Do Not Share movies, Or you will die. this film is dedicated to Russell Sprague 1958-2005

153.3.2005 01:36

I think Hrdrk20 meant this:

163.3.2005 03:58

Yes, that's what I meant . Thanks for the motivation Mr. Taz

173.3.2005 04:03

Damm you freeservers... I had the pic for a few minutes

1817.3.2005 15:07

What a sad day, indeed. Consider this: He gave up his life for: * Something's Gotta Give * The Last Samurai * Master and Commander-The Far Side of the World * Thirteen 75% junk, excepting 13, which was OK. A true martyr for sharing crap-films. Upstairs [ok, MPAA, wherever his soul went] someone's laffing.

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