June 2, 2005
Operation Digital Gridlock Ends
A Press Release here of the Department of Justice (DOJ) tells of the final defendant pleading guilty in what has been called Operation Gridlock. This investigation "targeted illegal file-sharing of copyrighted materials over Direct Connect peer-to-peer networks that belonged to an online group of hubs known as The Underground Network. These networks required their users to share large quantities of computer files with other network users, all of whom could download each others’ shared files." The press release notes that "[t]hese pleas constituted the first federal felony convictions for copyright piracy using peer-to-peer networks..."
This is not a situation of one or two movies being improperly downloaded. The press release states that the defendant:
"owned, maintained, operated, and moderated a Direct Connect hub named "Silent Echoes." According to court documents, the defendant’s hub offered movies, computer software, computer games, and music in digital format. During the investigation, government agents downloaded numerous copyrighted works worth approximately $7,371 from Tanner’s hub. Agents estimated that on any one day, Tanner’s hub shared an average of 6.72 terabytes of files, which is roughly equivalent in storage space to well over 6,000 movies in digital format."
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