In cases with violent and disruptive components, such as assault and drug dealing, it's very clear that incarceration is the best option. For non-violent crimes, such as IP theft, money laundering, etc, it's not really so clear. Since the intent this time wasn't to remove the individual from society (which I think we call can agree wasn't necessary in this case) that means that the judge somehow A) determined the value of the stolen film, B) decided that 33 months was the amount of incarceration that would discourage others from stealing the same "value" of property. The judge ruled out public service, ruled out probation, and ruled out fines as an acceptable deterrent to future offenders. While it's easy not to agree with the ruling, it takes a very good understanding of human psyche to know when a penalty is enough to discourage OTHERS from committing the same crime.
Second, I'd want the hardware used to try out some new software, techniques, file systems, media servers, etc. It's never too late to learn new skills, and what better to learn on than servers you don't mind wiping if they get messed up. Using them to mine bitcoins is far less valuable (in a corporate environment) in the long run than using them to learn new skills, and exposure to new software.