US convicts 15th in largest music piracy case

A New York man was convicted of copyright infringement late last week in the largest criminal music piracy case in the United States.

A New York man was convicted of copyright infringement late last week in the largest criminal music piracy case in the United States.

Barry Gitarts, 25, was convicted by a jury in federal court in Alexandria, Va., for his role in the so-called Apocalypse Production Crew, an online piracy group that specialized in stealing and disseminating not-yet-released music.

Gitarts, faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of US$250,000, as well as being mandated to make full restitution. He is slated to be sentenced on Aug. 8.

Gitarts, who used the alias Dextro, was the fifteenth member of the group to be convicted on piracy charges. All were charged in early 2004 when law enforcement agents around the world acted on search warrants aimed at several online piracy groups.

The other 14 members of the Apocalypse Production Crew who were charged have pleaded guilty.

"Our hope is that it will deter people from pirating material on the Internet," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay V. Prabhu, who prosecuted the case. "The intellectual property industry has estimated that the money [lost] to piracy and is in the billions of dollars. There are hundreds of groups like this, but these guys were a significant provider."

Gitarts, according to court records, paid for and maintained the server that the piracy group used. The server was based at a Houston hosting provider but Gitarts controlled it from his home.

APC and other online piracy groups work by stealing music, movies, software and video games before they're released for sale. Members of the group, which often have contacts inside the record companies and movie studios, then use the material to trade with other pirating groups for other stolen material. Often, different groups specialize in different mediums, such as music or software.

Prabhu said the Apocalypse Production Crew is responsible for 8,142 stolen music releases between 1997 and 2004. "Once APC released an album, within five minutes it was on servers all over the world," he added.

According to the prosecutor, Gitarts tried to install Linux software on his server in an attempt to delete his Windows applications and destroy evidence on it. Government forensic specialists, however, found fragments of his emails where he talked about music piracy, as well as evidence of transfers of pirated APC music files, he said.

After federal agents found a tape with his alias "Dextro" written on it, Gitarts admitted that he was Dextro and had downloaded pirated files. His lawyer later tried to have the admission thrown out.

To date, Operation FastLink, the large international effort to shut down piracy groups, has resulted in more than 200 search warrants executed in 15 countries, according to information from the US Department of Justice.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?