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First P2P piracy convictions for Justice Dept

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 19 Jan 2005 4:55 User comments (8)

First P2P piracy convictions for Justice Dept On Tuesday the Justice Department got it's first ever convictions for copyright piracy perpetrated on P2P networks. Two men who were caught in the department's "Operation Digital Gridlock" pleaded guilty to felony intellectual property crimes. William Trowbridge, 50, of Johnson City, N.Y., and Michael Chicoine, 47, of San Antonio each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit felony criminal copyright infringement before Judge Paul Friedman in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The men operated Direct Connect Hubs which allowed it's users to share copyrighted material with each other.
On these Hubs, users apparently had to share a minimum of 100GB to gain access. "As today's pleas demonstrate, those who steal copyrighted material will be caught, even when they use the tools of technology to commit their crimes," Attorney General John Ashcroft said. "The theft of intellectual property victimizes not only its owners and their employees but also the American people, who shoulder the burden of increased costs for goods and services. The Department of Justice is committed to pursuing and bringing to justice those who commit intellectual property theft."

The maximum penalty for a first-time offender convicted of conspiracy to commit felony criminal copyright infringement is five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, restitution to the victims and the forfeiture and destruction of infringing copies and all equipment used to manufacture infringing copies. Trowbridge and Chicoine will be sentenced April 29.

Source:
Hollywood Reporter

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8 user comments

119.1.2005 6:41

And downloading on P2P was declared illegal when??? HMMM, I must have been out sick that day;-)

219.1.2005 8:41

Actually the issue is ... quote: "users apparently had to share a minimum of 100GB to gain access." THis is what got them nabbed, the other P2P do not require this type of participation. THe other P2P do not dictate the amount of content or type of content to be shared they just provide the software. Napster got nabbed due to the file servers, these guys had something similar from what I surmise

319.1.2005 18:23

well atleast the maximum is only 5 years. damn, i can't believe all this, but it won't be really bad until they have a mandatory minimum of 5 years. at that point, I think I will have to leave America behind.

419.1.2005 23:06

as much as i love p2p, 100 Gb is taking the piss unless they were all divx files in which case it would only be 7 AC3 releases by groups to top 100 GB

521.1.2005 4:08

The amount of minimum file size shared is probably not the determining factor here. I don't know about this particular p2p network, but the ones that attract attention are the ones in it for a profit. These guys must have been successfull enough to make somebody mad. While I don't condone illegal file sharing of any kind, people who try to make money off of somebody else's work are scum, and if they go about it in a big way, deserve to get stung. And these are the examples that industry uses with policy makers to pass laws (such as DMCA) that penalize the rest of us, who only want legitimate fair use rights to digital content we own. So I say, good riddance.

621.1.2005 12:49

John Ashcroft never ceases to infringe on our rights. First the patriot act and now this. I downloaded his song, "Let the Eagles Soar." http://www.cnn.com/video/us/2002/02/25/ashcroft.sings.wbtv.med.html I wonder if he's going to sue me now for not buying his record. I guess I will have to wait and see. And in response to bazilla's message, I am absolutely sure it would've been mentioned in the arcticle if they were making some form of profit off of this. Also, this arcticle states that they were using direct connect hubs which means that they weren't sharing files on the internet, but instead were connected on a Local Area Network to the other people who were sharing the files. I hope that you will have such a closeminded approach to this when John Ashcroft puts you in prison for transferring files from one computer to another at your private home. I agree that making money off other people's work is wrong. But to arrest 2 friends for sharing files on a network is not only an infringement of privacy but of rights as well (of course it once again comes down to the patriot act, and how it got passed is just another story of mind control and propaganda, George Orwell's 1984 all over again, if you will). I have been to many a Lan party and as many as 200 people will all be sharing files. In the digital age we are living in, it is rediculous to incarcerate everyone who doesn't pay for every program they use. I'm sure you would agree that paying a small fee to use software is fair, but some companies want you to pay as much as 50 dollars for a program that is going to be out of date in less than a month. These big software designers could easily triple their profits if they would simply price things more fairly. For instance, I am using a trial version of TweakXP which I do not ever plan on registering and I also know quite a few people who use it as well and who also never plan on registering it. But, if TotalIdea would only charge say one dollar to register it virtually nobody would mind paying that to get rid of the annoying timer when the program loads and they would easily make more money than before.

725.1.2005 11:09

The maximum penalty for a first-time offender convicted of conspiracy to commit felony criminal copyright infringement is five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, restitution to the victims and the forfeiture and destruction of infringing copies and all equipment used to manufacture infringing copies. Trowbridge and Chicoine will be sentenced April 29. you can get less for murder,

825.1.2005 17:24

yes, in fact, the American legal system is full of defects and needs to be returned to its manufacturer for some more experimental testing.

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