May 20, 2006
Internet Music Piracy Sentencing
With so many high-profile white collar indictments and trials, the ones that don't make the front page can sometimes be lost. Yet, in the white collar world, internet crimes and particularly internet piracy remain hot topics.
The first indictments from Operation Fastlink came in July 2005 (see here) and now we are seeing the pleas and sentencing of some. (see here) According to a DOJ Press release, the "first members of pre-release music piracy groups from Operation FastLink were sentenced . . . for their involvement with Internet music piracy groups." Although one individual had previously received a sentence of "15 months in prison," the new sentences were "six months in prison/six months home confinement" and "six months home confinement."
The DOJ press release states that:
"These are the first federal criminal sentences for members of pre-release music groups from Operation FastLink, an ongoing federal crackdown against the organized piracy groups responsible for most of the initial illegal distribution of copyrighted movies, software, games and music on the Internet. Operation FastLink has resulted, to date, more than 120 search warrants executed in 12 countries; the confiscation of hundreds of computers and illegal online distribution hubs; and the removal of more than $50 million worth of illegally-copied copyrighted software, games, movies and music from illicit distribution channels. As of today, Operation FastLink has yielded felony convictions for 30 individuals."
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