First US convictions for illegal file sharing

By Derek Sooman on January 20, 2005, 1:54 PM
The music industry have pledged to win the war against piracy, and they are making a very good attempt. Their work is now beginning to show the fruits of their labour, with the first US convictions for illegal file-sharers. Canít you hear the RIAA cheering as we speak?

William Trowbridge of New York and Texas-based Michael Chicoine both faced charges of infringing copyright by sharing music, films and software across peer-to-peer networks. The men are the first to be convicted in a potential list of 7,000 individuals the RIAA aim to target this year.

50-year-old Trobridge and Chicoine, 47, both pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to commit felony copyright infringement and one of acting for commercial advantage. They face up to five years in jail and a $250,000 fine, the Justice Department said in a statement Tuesday (Jan. 18).


These arrests and subsequent convictions are the result of an investigation into a piracy ring known as the Underground Network. The Network has been associated with piracy on a massive scale.

Since we are now locking people up for 5 years for sharing mp3s, I wonder what is going to be done about the hooligans, drug dealers and criminals walking our streets. Or maybe they are just not as important.




User Comments: 5

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Electrick Gypsy said:
Although it 'appears' that they (RIAA) have targeted a relatively large network of traders. Let's keep this in perspective here. Online MP3 and file sharers don't really rate a mention compared with the piracy "for profit" that exists in most Asian and Middle Eastern countries.When they, (RIAA) and other corporations that keep screaming about their lost millions get the balls to attack the real problem, we'll know that they're serious about it instead of just trying to make examples of the individuals that can't afford to fight them in the courts.[Edited by Electrick Gypsy on 2005-01-20 15:23:20][Edited by Electrick Gypsy on 2005-01-20 15:25:51]
Phantasm66 said:
Yes, those initially targetted are "for profit" traders, but how long before the average joe is threatened??
shiney said:
Sadly in todays society morals take second place to financial loss
JET673_311 said:
When companies and musicians start making reasonable priced software and records with atleast 5 good songs then we might consider purchasing it legally.
Phantasm66 said:
[b]Originally posted by JET673_311:[/b][quote]When companies and musicians start making reasonable priced software and records with atleast 5 good songs then we might consider purchasing it legally.[/quote]true. and they should also make those available to download at a price that is significantly cheaper than in the shops for an actual CD.
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