Dr. Evil may have been proud but prosecutors didn't show him any love. A man who made an unauthorized pre-release copy of Mike Myers' film "The Love Guru," and then blamed his grandmother when it showed up on the Internet, was sentenced today to six months in federal prison.
, 28, of Porter Ranch, was an employee of a Burbank
tape duplication company hired by Paramount Pictures
in May 2008 to duplicate a promotional DVD copy of "The Love Guru" for use by "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."
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The film was set for release the following month, but prosecutors said the high-quality copy showed up on the Internet and was downloaded more than 85,000 times.
In initial interviews with investigators, Yates falsely pointed the finger at co-workers at the duplication company and at Paramount employees, Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik M. Silber
However, surveillance footage taken at Yates' workplace showed him "making an unauthorized copy of `The Love Guru,' then leaving the building, and going to his car in the parking lot," Silber said.
Yates then blamed his grandmother.
According to court papers, he said he showed his copy of "The Love Guru" to his family at his grandmother's birthday party, and his grandmother took the DVD to Yates' cousin in Orange County, who gave it to a friend who was a former roommate of the man who is believed to have uploaded the film. That man has not yet been charged in the case.
In his plea agreement, Yates admitted he duped a copy for himself and later distributed it to others.
While Yates never intended for the movie to be pirated, the film studio and duplication firm have security precautions in place to prevent copying, "precisely because of the serious economic harm to Paramount if such a high-quality copy of the movie was released to the Internet," Silber wrote in sentencing papers.
Yates "knowingly breached those security measures and, as a result, Paramount suffered economic harm, Silber said.
At the Razzie Awards a few months ago, "The Love Guru" was named the worst film of the year.