Eight Californians were charged with the illegal early release of "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith." One worked in a studio that did post production of the film and obtained a screener (review) copy.

All are charged with misdemeanor copyright infringement that can land them in jail for a year. One was also charged with uploading it to the web, a felony carrying three years maximum jail time.

This is law enforcement's latest attempt to stop movie piracy. All defendants are to appear in Federal Court in October, 2005.