PITTSBURGH (AP) - A western Pennsylvania accused of pirating audio of the Cameron Diaz movie “Sex Tape” at a Pittsburgh-area drive-in was arraigned Thursday on charges stemming from what prosecutors said was part of a broader conspiracy to sell bootleg movies online.
Brian Ridley, 38, of Butler, was allowed to remain free on bond after his appearance before a federal magistrate in Pittsburgh. Ridley’s federal public defender, Michael Novara, declined comment.
Ridley allegedly recorded the audio at the Dependable Drive-In in Moon Township back in July 2014, federal prosecutors said in an indictment handed down last month.
Others unnamed in the indictment would use camcorders to video record the movies at walk-in theaters. Ridley and others recorded the audio from drive-ins, where theaters now use FM radio broadcasts to send higher quality sound signals to viewers’ cars, authorities said.
The video and audio recordings would both be sent over the Internet to another unnamed conspirator who would sync the video and audio recordings so the bootlegged movies could be sold online.
Rick Glaus, who owns the drive-in, said industry trade groups often alert theater owners to piracy.
“The Motion Picture Association of America called and said if you see a car with the license number come in, call the Moon police,” Glaus told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review after last month’s indictment. “That’s what we did.”
Ridley is accused of helping the others pirate an unspecified number of movies between August 2011 and July 2014, the indictment said.
Ridley faces up to five years in prison if convicted on a conspiracy charge and up to three years on the piracy charge.
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