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The leader of the in-theater camcording gang known as the IMAGiNE Group was handed a 60-month prison term Thursday in what is the nation’s longest sentence in a file-sharing case.The sentence handed to Jeramiah Perkins, 40, of Portsmouth, Virginia, surpassed one of largest file-sharing terms handed to IMAGiNE co-defendant Gregory A. Cherwonik, 53, of New York, who received 40 months in November for his role in the operation.In all, five IMAGiNE members have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit copyright infringement for operating what prosecutors described as the world’s most prolific piracy release group between 2009 and 2011.The Motion Picture Association of America said IMAGiNE was more successful than any other illegal internet release group because of its “short latency periods between the theatrical release and their pirated release, their consistently good quality of audio captures, their high volume of releases, and their connection to international suppliers.”What’s more, the group sought “to be the premier group to first release to the internet copies of new motion pictures only showing in movie theaters,” according to the indictment. (.pdf)According to Perkins’ plea agreement with prosecutors and accepted by U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen of the Eastern District of Virginia, Perkins rented computer servers in France and elsewhere for the group, registered domain names and, among other things, created e-mail and PayPal accounts “to receive donations and payments from persons downloading or buying IMAGiNE Group releases of pirated copies of motion pictures and other copyrighted works,” the authorities said.Group members would audio-record films such as Friends With Benefits and Captain America: The First Avenger. Others members would record the film at a theater with a camcorder. Then the sound and video would be combined into a full-featured movie, the authorities said.Other films the group recorded and uploaded included The Men Who Stare at Goats, Avatar, Clash of the Titans, Iron Man 2, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and, among others, The Green Hornet.The authorities said the group utilized servers in France, Canada and the United States to offer in-theater-only movies from websites like unleashthe.net, pure-imagination.us and pure-imagination.info.The indictment said the group accepted donations “to fund expenses, including the cost of renting servers used by the conspirators, and to accept payments for the unauthorized distribution and sale of pirated copies of copyrighted works.” The indictment charged that the IMAGiNE Group’s websites included member profiles, a torrent tracker, discussion forums and a message board.Sean Lovelady, 28, of California, was handed 23 months in October for his role. Willie Lambert, 57, of Pennsylvania, was given 30 months. A fifth defendant is expected to be sentenced in March.