Thursday, February 10, 2005

Feds nab file sharers....,aid,119342,00.asp


Operators of two peer-to-peer services have pleaded guilty to felony criminal copyright infringement charges in the first U.S. federal convictions for copyright violations using P-to-P networks, the U.S. Department of Justice announced this week.

William R. Trowbridge of Johnson City, New York, and Michael Chicoine of San Antonio, Texas, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit felony criminal copyright infringement. The pleas were entered Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Trowbridge operated at P-to-P hub named Movie Room between August 2002 and August 2004, and Chicoine operated a P-to-P hub named Achenon's Alley TM, according to the DOJ. The two sites offered a wide variety of computer software, computer games, music, and movies in digital format, including some software titles that legitimately sell for thousands of dollars, the DOJ says.

During an investigation, government agents downloaded 35 copyright works worth $4820.66 from Chicoine's site and more than 70 copyright works worth $20,648.63 from Trowbridge's site, the DOJ says. Both men pleaded guilty to acting for commercial advantage or private financial gain--the DOJ accused the two of operating their sites with the intent of obtaining copyrighted works from others.

"Those who steal copyrighted material will be caught, even when they use the tools of technology to commit their crimes," U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft says in a statement. "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."



Blogger Lindsay Moyer said...

Intervening in P2P networks will touch on a lot of problems the government's trying to solve ... for example, the problem of obscenity. Child pornography is out there on P2P networks, so maybe there's more to cracking down on copyright infringement ...

February 13, 2005 at 5:59 PM  
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November 13, 2005 at 2:43 PM  
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