2 Snohomish County men charged in video piracy

  • Wed Nov 30th, 2011 8:37pm
  • News

By Diana Hefley Herald Writer

LYNNWOOD — Two Snohomish County men are the focus of a federal investigation into websites selling allegedly pirated movies, television shows and workout videos.

San Jim Kim, 36, of Everett, and Eugene Yi, 41, of Bothell, were arrested Wednesday. They are charged with criminal copyright infringement. Federal agents also on Wednesday seized two web sites — 82movie.com and 007disk.com — and the servers that support them.

Investigators say the sites are operated by Kim’s company, World Multimedia Group Inc.

A source in Seoul, South Korea, first alerted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents that Kim’s company was illegally distributing large amounts of copyrighted material through two websites.

The websites reportedly required users to pay a fee for the downloads. The websites offered movies, including some that were still in the theaters or not yet released on DVD. The sites also offered television shows illegally downloaded from Korean broadcasters. The programs were marketed to the Korean community in the U.S., according to federal authorities.

Kim reportedly told undercover agents that movie companies frequently contacted him about the movies on his site. He allegedly told the agents that he would remove the movies and then make them available again a few weeks later.

“Stealing the intellectual property of others harms our economy and threatens American jobs,” U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said. “The defendants allegedly used a variety of methods to line their own pockets by stealing and selling other people’s work.”

If convicted, Kim and Yi face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.