The typical image of a person who illegally downloads pirated movies is a 18-year-old kid frequenting shady websites and torrent lists in search of the latest flicks. But copyright violators come in all shapes, sizes, and professions, and nothing proves that point better than the recent disciplinary action taken against a police officer in Madison, Wisconsin. The unlucky lawman was caught downloading a pirated film to the computer installed in his squad car.
It seems that the offending officer — whose name is conveniently not being released — was working a rather slow beat on May 18, and decided that the Owen Wilson movie Hall Pass would be a good way to pass the time. Unfortunately, the film wasn't scheduled to be released on DVD until June 14, so he put his investigative skills to the test and found it on an illegal download site.
But, as so often happens when downloading from sketchy websites, the file contained not only a less-than stellar comedy, but also a virus which put the officer's laptop on the fritz. After unsuccessfully attempting to wipe his misdeed from the device, he asked for help from his station's IT department. When the computer gurus discovered that the issue stemmed from downloading a pirated movie, they notified the officer's superiors and he was promptly suspended.
In a report, the station noted that, "The officer was found to have violated department policies involving on-duty business and use and care of city-owned property, as well as the city's administrative procedure on appropriate use of computer resources." Despite that indictment, the officer was back at work after just 6 days, and as of now no copyright charges have been filed. Perhaps he was confused by the tag line of Hall Pass, "No Rules," but whatever the case, he isn't likely to make the same mistake twice.
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