AfterDawn: Tech news

Two men plead guilty for federal Internet piracy

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 11 Jan 2006 13:30 User comments (20)

Two men plead guilty for federal Internet piracy Two more men who were nabbed as part of Operation Copycat, which targeted warez group members have pleaded guilty, bringing the total to 10 of 14. Paul Aleman, 25, of Menafee, and New Jersey resident Philip Kang, 22, entered guilty pleas in a federal courtroom in San Jose today. Operation Copycat was part of a much larger, now infamous International piracy crackdown dubbed Operation Site Down that targeted some of the best known warez groups on the Internet.
Federal prosecutors say that warez groups are responsible for most of the pirated material that can be found online. They said when a group makes a "release", it spreads to top-level servers in a matter of minutes, and then continues to filter down through P2P networks and BitTorrent sites where they will can be downloaded by anyone with a decent Internet connection. To further demonstrate the scale of the worldwide operation, federal prosecutors showed some directory lists they had obtained.

They included more than 750 movies such as Star Wars: Episode III- Revenge of the Sith, Batman Begins and Bewitched which were uploaded by groups within hours of theatrical release. The list also included 1,250 computer games and over 180 major software titles. Operation Site Down had a dramatic effect on the entire worldwide network, but you don't have to look very far to see that the scale of releases is still huge.


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20 user comments

112.1.2006 1:43

Sad day when people who do so little make headlines. I see myself right out of this country VERY soon.

212.1.2006 5:13

@ tatsh It's the same in any country. You get caught illegally downloading then you suffer the consequences.

312.1.2006 5:56

Hope the cort go's easy on them

412.1.2006 5:57

Court sorry

512.1.2006 11:37

weazel200 Your post is not technically wrong, but the story is about release groups that "upload" files. Also, all those who have been served papers by the RIAA were because they made files available for upload. The suits have not been based on what files were downloaded. Don't be wearin' that eau de troll cologne around here... ;-)

613.1.2006 9:41

Too bad to hear of the piracy groups getting snatched. Them groups don't make any money doing what they do. They have no real incentive for all the things they do for us leechers.

713.1.2006 10:47

Quote -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Don't be wearin' that eau de troll cologne around here... ;-) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Just a thought, but you might feel differently if you invested a lot of time and money, etc into a product which you intended to use as your nest egg and watch the rewards dwindle away because of piracy of your copyrighted material.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 13 Jan 2006 @ 13:49

813.1.2006 11:40

The only mistake they made was getting caught. It is hard to get away with something that can be tracked like that. The internet is global, therefor one country can't mandate what people in another country can do in cyber space. But you can access it from anywhere. Maybe there should be internet laws?

913.1.2006 11:51

speaking of warez, just what are they and who knows which warez sites are the best?

1013.1.2006 15:07

@blueboy4: Your on internet and google is your friend (this answers both questions). is a personal favourite of mine.. it has all the shareWAREZ I could ever need.

1114.1.2006 5:52

@Jamzbond That IS true, but the fact is that most recording companies make their money through ticket sales, special editions, re-releases with loads of cut material, there's the cash record companies rake in from iTunes, Napster, etc, (as many of the original illegal downloaders have switched to paying for crippled DRM-restricted music), and of course there's the average fan. The only break in consistency is that lots of the average fans today are illegal downloaders. The truth is that artists donn't really lose money, they're just not providing the same, quality material as before, and now, thanks to downloading, people are finding out an album's worth before they purchase. Statistic-publishers never take into account the fact that a very large chunk of downloaders are people that would never have even seen/heard the movie/music without free downloads, because they had no intention of buying it in the first place, usually an ad sparks the initial interest, they download the movie/songs, then they either like them or they don't. If they like what they've downloaded, then another amazingly large amount of them (myself included) goes out and PURCHASES (in its highest quality form available, all bonus material, artwork, packaging, etc intact) the DVD or CD from a local store, online retailer, or online auction. (Actually much more preferable to one compressed AVI with just the feature or a set of sad mp3s that just sit on your hard drive, unless you have software to convert them, hardware to play them, knowledge of the processes, and a lot of basic patience). The point is, real fans DO support movies and music that they like, people that are just interested in it momentarily don't feel that it's worth their money (maybe there's a message here?), and I don't see how them testing out new music or movies before paying is such a big deal. In most cases it's something they'll probably only watch or listen to once, then they'll most likely delete it for the space. If they BOUGHT their music legally, only to find out the music isn't any good, well that's their hard-earned money, gone. Now, switch focus to the money lost consumer-side. You hear a song on the radio by a new band. You go out and buy their album. Then, you find out that the one song you heard was the one good song on the album, incidentally the only song that wasn't written by anyone in the band. That's YOUR hard-earned money lost. I know what you're thinking, legal, single-track, DRM-restricted, and most importantly of all, paid downloads. Well, let's see, anyone using this service is probably a teen, probably from an upper-class family, considering they've got a high-speed internet connection, they use iTunes, and probably have an iPod. Basically this means that their tastes will change rather quickly, and it won't matter because they can just buy more music. The real music fans (those that get the most plays out of music) that know exactly what they like will not use an internet store. The one big detail is that this paid-for, legal music has no value. It has no packaging, no liner notes, no physical existence whatsoever. Real fans don't just want the music to listen to, real fans show their appreciation and support by purchasing something sold by the band, at a fair price (they have to make a living), so that they can be proud about their music collection. But usually, the case is that a computer newbie buys a CD, assuming he can make perfectly LEGAL personal copies to keep from scratching the original CD that he's just paid good money for. Then, the record company's "guilty by default" attitude about consumers steps in with copy protection, bad sectors, or automatically installed, bundled software that keeps you from doing anything other than ripping WMAs, DRM-restricted of course,that you CAN NOT burns as an audio CD. You are forced to use your original CD. The CD gets inevitably scratched to death, and you have to buy, with your hard-earned money, a 2ND copy. Just because record companies can push you around, legally. I feel this way because I HAVE invested a lot of time and money into owning my music and movies. Real artists shouldn't care about anyone with an illegal copy paying for it, because the real fans will support them. Bands like Metallica think that its right to sucker fans into buying bad albums, they make more money that way than if they let everyone hear the whole crappy album before buying it. You'd think they would want their cash turnout to be equal to the amount of fans they have, but, no, its all just about making money, regardless of whether people like them or not. But, when a band has one good song on a whole album and people are finding this out before Metallica gets their money, then they have to do something about it. The album doesn't sell because of the 14 other bad tracks, so thus was born iTunes. iTunes is simply the purest manifestation of this greed, as they have created a way to make money off that one good track that everyone talks about. This is basically a technique to squeeze as much cash as possible out of a hot song, becuase they only care about how much money they're making. Everyone needs to open their eyes, people are downloading music because apparently it's not worth the money they say it is (this is the basic message bands like Metallica need to hear, in other words, "There's nothing good about who you are or what you do."-Cleveland, spoken to Lars Ulrich, Family Guy). If they could see that, they would know they have only their greed and subsequent loss of talent to blame for their sales drop. I think what I'm trying to get through here is that record labels are greed-driven pigs, and any artist fighting alongside their two-timing, money-grubbing label is a filthy pig as well and has no self-respect. The same goes for director's that act like their children will go hungry (while they stuff their fat faces) because YOU (planting personal guilt) downloaded their new movie (basic ponit), they only made 6 million dollars this month instead of their usual 8 million, and you should feel very sorry that YOU, making less than 3% of their monthly income annually, didn't have the money or didn't want to give up your money to see their shit-film. I would sincerely like you to think about what I've said. For the record companies, and unfortunately many artists, it's not about music or being fair. It's about cold hard cash, acquired any way they can. I really need to stop typing now, I seem to be rambling.

1214.1.2006 7:15

@ Daemonzx6 You have presented very convincing arguments and having vegetated over it I agree in principle with most of what you've said. The only and all important flaw in the first point that you presented is that it is left to the discretion of the downloader to purchase the album/song after listening to it and here lies the dilema. I do believe that more people are legally downloading music than before but more are also illegally downloading music as well because of the increased availability and affordability of computers and broadband. As to the balance that exists I can only be governed by the stats presented by the music industry which I surmise is a well educated guess. The point is the computer industry is growing at the speed of thought to quote Bill Gates and as such the music industry is always going to play catch up. People by and large rather something free & easy to obtain. This is easily afforded by P2P software with the only but important disincentive being the law vs downloading/uploading of such copyright protected material. I disagree that the vast majority of downloaders worldwide(with so many countries either not having or not enforcing laws vs copying copyright protected material) are using the internet copy as a litmus test with a view to go out and buy or obtain a legally downloaded copy when you already have a copy. I think when you look at it from a global perspective the dynamics of it changes and the means to facilitate & foster piracy I suspect outweighs legal downloading. The number of underdeveloped countries far outweigh the developed countries and for some of their residents obtaining the computer with a CD/DVD burner and appropriate P2P and burning software to boot is tantamount to having bought the movie ticket, music album, etc. Why there might be not be a grave disparity in music,etc sales when compared to other years is as I surmise, due to the fact the downloading legally is so expensive when compared to walking into a brick & mortar and purchasing it. At approx US $1/song it's quite expensive so this helps to ofset the cost of illegal downloads. Also bear in mind that with increased technology and mechanisation the actual cost to make a CD album or to put the songs on the server for downloading gets less so this lessens their overheads and 'potentially' increase the record companies profit margins. I say 'potentially' increase since they spend so much on PR that one never knows(case in point being Maria Carey's music video some years ago). I'm by no means a pessimist but I live in a part of the world which obviously contrasts with yours and I do believe that this constitutes the majority than the minority, and humans will be humans.....which is to say that if something is free & easily accessible via the internet, then how many will infact not exploit this, oblivious of the cost to others. I see that you are passionate about your music and your are probably a purist with regards to the kind of music and quality that you have in your collection. You probably take pride in having a physical music library where you have the vinyl/8-track/tapes/CDs, etc in their cases and in pristine condition and maybe back it up on your HDD. But sad to say I think you are part of a dying breed. Nowadays the "musical purists" are more concerned with whether the song is ripped at less than or more than 128kbs. I honestly think that your arguments are really convincing and I don't want to seem like a cynic but I'll respectfully say that some of them wouldn't work in this imperfect part of the world in which a vast majority of us live.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Jan 2006 @ 3:58

1314.1.2006 14:41

I hate the music industry. And radio stations are the worst. Forever, they've been shoving crap down our throats. Hear one good song out of three, in addition to listening to all the annoying commercials. My wife used to by CD's, and it would enrage me. Fifteen bucks blown here and there because she liked a song she heard on the radio. She'd play that song over and over until neither of us could stand it. Once in a while a CD would have another one or two songs that we liked, and we'd program our CD player to play only those. But alas we'd get sick of those too. Now we store hundreds of CDs that aren't worth the trouble of pulling them out to hear one of our old favorite, but overplayed, songs. Personally, I would much rather pay $1 per song for a nice clean download than to take a chance on a free download. In my opinion, free downloads are too risky--not just because of lawsuit risk, but who knows what you're truly getting when you take a chance on downloading from a P2P site. I detest the DRM restrictions on purchased music though, and I foresee the day when these will loosen up a bit. I like the direction I'm seeing the industry go with the start-up of Yahoo Music Engine. You can listen to free Launchcast Radio with no commercial interuptions. Best of all, you can rate songs and artists so that your customized radio station plays music that you favor. You don't get total control of the music that is played, but for me, I love it because it gives me a tremendous variety of music that's customized to my tastes. The settings I select result in the songs I like plus an occasional introduction of songs from similar artists that I would never have listened to otherwise. This is not intended to be an advertisement for Yahoo Music Engine, because the site is already somewhat slow and I'd rather not have a bunch of new users logging on. But I'm excited about my experience and the changes I'm seeing. Now if they'd just lighten up a little on the DRM restrictions. Please comment if you know of other music services that might be better.

1414.1.2006 15:42

Where are the cracks/hacks for DRM? I do know you can use an app to capture stuff that's playing on your PC, but that's a pain.

1514.1.2006 17:10


1614.1.2006 19:47

Federeral prosecutors waist tax money on bullshit undercover stings like this to catch 2 guys,what a waist of time!

1715.1.2006 11:40

o that sucks.

1815.1.2006 22:03

@Jamzbond Sorry I sort of misrepresented my views, I got kinda lost with such a big post. First of all, I in no way think that most downloaders will go out and buy the CD they download. I do know that a lot of people do, however. Second, I'm not saying that everybody uses P2P to test out music, but some do, which is why the record industry should really think before they go around suing everyone. I guess I'm trying to say that the people the people who DO buy the music they download will most likely buy other CDs, merchandise, or even concert tickets for those artists, generating more income for the industry. I do agree that my arguments will not work in some parts of the world, but again, if artists were really about music, they would care about people hearing their music, rather than making money off of anyone who listens to it. I believe that artists deserve a return for their hard work, but when they start nitpicking and whining about how they're making fewer millions than they were before thanks only to downloading, then I just stop listening. I was saying earlier that they can't just blame downloading and stop there, there are many reasons for changes in their cashflow, like lack of promotion or radio play, or that the band just isn't popular anymore. I think they are just establishing an enemy so that oncerned artists can give their two minutes hate, regardless of whether or not its the only problem. Their main problem is that they think making charges on people they know won't fight back, arresting a couple people every eight months, suing the makers of P2P programs, and shutting down torrent sites at a slug's pace is going to weaken their enemy. Well, I think we all know piracy is here to stay, especially if they continue with these pointless displays of power. Anyway, that's all I have to say for now.

1917.1.2006 5:44

Jamzbond: "but more are also illegally downloading music as well" Could you please define "illegal downloading" and source some case law ie actual court cases? I am not being petty or a smart a$$, but really this term is from a legal standpoint pretty muc maningless. If you mean downloading material to which one doesn't hold copyright or permission, then every day several tens of millions people certainly "illegaly download," via http, ftp, pop3 and p2p. It is extremely likely that MPAA and RIAA members and staff do on a daily basis! I, and everyone on the planet with an email account, have downloaded spam that includes copyright images and text. I have no legal resposnbility to bock this. I have downloaded shareware and music via http, ftp and p2p which if I looked very very carefully probably has been misrepresented some fraction of the time. The only penalty one could legitimately face is either if the download was discovered as without permission, not deleting it, or a self admission or statetement that one knew ahead of time the material was under copyright.

205.11.2006 9:43


Courts around the world -- including the United States Supreme Court -have ruled that businesses and individuals can be prosecuted for illegal downloading.

See: RIAA-and-Shuts-Down-35446.shtml" target="_blank">

The eDonkey2000 Network is no longer available.

If you steal music or movies, you are breaking the law.

Courts around the world -- including the United States Supreme Court --
have ruled that businesses and individuals can be prosecuted for illegal

You are not anonymous when you illegally download copyrighted material.

Your IP address is and has been logged.

Respect the music, download legally.
Goodbye Everyone.


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This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Nov 2006 @ 10:11

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