On October 15, 2012, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported that 37-year-old Sang Jin Kim was sentenced to 40 months in jail and ordered to pay more than $400,000 for his role in downloading and selling pirated material. In July 2012, the US Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a press release announcing that Kim pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal copyright infringement following an intellectual property probe by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
The Herald in Everett, Washington reported that during sentencing, US District Judge Richard Jones called Kim a “one-man wrecking ball” for the businesses he harmed. The Enumclaw Courier-Herald reported that some of the pirated materials were television shows illegally downloaded from Korean broadcasters, and the programs were marketed to the Korean community in the United States.
“This defendant operated websites that engaged in copyright infringement on a massive scale,” US Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said in a statement. “By stealing and selling the work of others, he damaged people working in many industries – software and video production companies, musicians and movie companies, even broadcast companies in Korea. All were denied income by his theft.”
A source in Seoul, Korea first alerted HSI that Kim’s Lynnwood, Washington-based World Multimedia Group Inc. was illegally distributing large amounts of copyrighted material over the internet. According to the Courier-Herlad, an investigation by HSI revealed “the company was knowingly posting movies, TV shows, videos and software for download on their websites, without obtaining the rights to any of the materials.”
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