Twentieth Century Fox
Scene from "The Simpsons Movie"
updated 8/17/2007 12:03:24 PM ET 2007-08-17T16:03:24

The first known pirated copy of "The Simpsons Movie" to make it onto the Internet was tracked to a home raided by Australian police Friday, authorities said.

Police ordered a 21-year-old Sydney man to appear in a Sydney court in October when he will be formally charged, the Australian Federal Police said. Details of the likely charge and penalties have not been made public.

The Motion Picture Association industry group said the investigation involved News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox movie studio, Australian police and the private investigation group Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft.

The federation said the illegal "Simpsons" copy was the first on the Internet and was recorded by a cell phone in a Sydney cinema on July 26 — hours before its release in most of the world.

Officials said the movie was uploaded to a video-sharing site based in the United States before it hit U.S. theaters July 27.

"Within 72 hours of making and uploading this unauthorized recording, AFACT had tracked it to other streaming sites and P2P (peer-to-peer) systems, where it had been illegally downloaded in excess of 110,000 times, and in all probability, copied and sold as a pirate DVD all over the world," AFACT executive director Adrianne Pecotic said.

Based on the long-running television show, "The Simpsons Movie" follows Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie as they flee enraged neighbors in Springfield, after Homer dumps waste from his new pet pig into a lake and causes an environmental crisis.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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