RIAA Victorious: Guilty Sentence for Online Music Pirate

The beginning of the end of the wild west.

Posted by Michael Bordash on Fri May 23, 2008

Technology
Barry Gitarts, 25, was found guilty of criminal copyright infringement on Thursday May 22, 2008, a violation of the NET ACT. Based in Brooklyn, NY, he was part of the APC ("Apocalypse Production Crew"), a piracy group responsible for distributing downloads of pre-release movies, music, software and games.

This is a landmark case as Mr Girarts is the first accused pirate to try his case in front of a jury, according to the RIAA. The trial was held for only three days in Alexandria, Virginia. U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg summed up the result quite simply: "Music piracy is stealing and, unless you want to end up in a federal prison, don't do it."

This trial was a result of the U.S. Justice Departments international effort "Operation Fastlink" that targeted violators of the NET ACT. This act made it a crime to infringe on copyrights for financial gain, illegally distribute $1,000 or more in music within a 6-month period and to distribute any pre-release content. Overall, the operation netted 200 search warrants in 15 countries.

Gitarts faces a up to five years in prison and will be sentences on August 8th 2008.

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