The man accused of pirating actor Carmine Caridi's "screener" copies of OSCAR-considered movies has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy and copyright infringement.

Caridi, 70, star of such films as GODFATHER: PART II, has already become the first person to be expelled from ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURES, ARTS AND SCIENCES for his part in the affair - and now RUSSELL WILLIAM SPRAGUE, 51, is trying to escape conviction of federal charges.

Sprague - who was sent copies of films by Caridi - was arrested last month (JAN04) at his Chicago home, and is charged with conspiring to violate copyrights on The Last Samurai, Master And Commander: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD and The Matrix REVOLUTIONS.

23/02/2004 09:24