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Sherman Oaks Man Charged in Pirating of ‘Big Fish’

From a Times Staff Writer

A Sherman Oaks man was charged Friday with violating federal anti-piracy laws by selling illegal copies of the movie “Big Fish” on the Internet.

William C. Philputt was also accused of illegally downloading DirecTV satellite programming.

According to an FBI complaint, Philputt reproduced copies of “Big Fish” from one that was sent by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences last fall to actress Hanna Hertelendy.

Because of film piracy, the academy embeds an identification tag in all movies sent to its voting members.

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Hertelendy was not charged and could not be reached for comment.

The FBI said a search of Philputt’s Woodman Avenue apartment also turned up illegal copies of the movies “Kill Bill,” “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” and the “Star Wars” trilogy and of the television series “Sex and the City.”

Assistant U.S. Atty. Chris Johnson said Philputt would be allowed to surrender himself for a court appearance at a later date.


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