Judge sentences link ‘pirate’ to time served, $13,000 in restitution

By on November 1, 2012, 8:30 AM

US authorities from the Department of Justice and Homeland Security’s ICE unit arrested Yonjo Quiroa as part of Operating Fake Sweep in February of this year. The 28-year-old Comstock Park, Michigan resident was suspected of operating nine websites that hosted links to other pages containing illegal streams of copyrighted sports broadcasts.

Officials said Quiroa’s website linked to content belonging to the NBA, NFL, NHL, WWE and TNA. Furthermore, during the nearly two years his site was online, the site admin earned roughly $13,000 in advertising revenue.

Quiroa has remained behind bars without bail since being picked up in February. In August, he entered a guilty plea for a copyright misdemeanor to avoid going to trial. At the time he was told he would receive a sentence of between six months to one full year.

District Court Judge Robert Ellis recently handed out the sentence. Quiroa received time served for the single count of criminal copyright infringement. He was ordered to pay a special assessment fee of $25 due immediately.

Furthermore, the judge determined that money Quiroa earned from advertising was considered a loss to each of the five sports leagues that his site provided links to streams of. As such, he was ordered to pay back the full $13,000 as restitution. Split evenly, each league will receive $2,600. Oh, and he is also being deported to his home country.

TorrentFreak points out that this is the first verdict against the operator of a link site and could serve as precedent for pending cases like that against channelsurfing.net owner Brian McCarthy.

User Comments: 6

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2600 is terribly small for a loss. They don't need that chump change :P

Tygerstrike said:

Everyone laughed when I said this would happen. Everyone told me "Hey its victimless". Now we are seeing a steamroller effect happening. Those draconian measures are starting to fall in line. Next thing that will happen is ppl will be banned from the internet. Im guessing some form of ankle bracelet similar to house arrest. A way to track where you go and see if opportunities arise for you to hop online. This case WILL set a precident. Its on US soil, in a US court. They will use this case to stomp all over individuals like Kim Dotcom.

treetops treetops said:

That's a pretty fair verdict, I wonder how much was spent on prosecuting him. I noticed tehcake.com is gone, I wonder if this had anything to do with it. People share pirated movies on google drive wonder if they will ever take them down. Or the local starbucks with open wifi where you can freely torrent.

A site with links huh, I wonder if his site contained a missing letter to each link or a added 1 like say his link said www.hair1.com with a comment section with people telling others remove the one to access the links. Or maybe a link to google results with the wanted files as the top results? Idk it seems like targeting a site containing links to other sites hosting material is silly.

Ok perhaps they could just make a comment section where anonymous users post links with a thumbs up thumbs down option on the comments, sort by thumb up thumb down ratio and you have a truly anonymous links to the content you desire.

1 person liked this | Tygerstrike said:


See the Law is still a bit vauge when it comes to the internet. They have gotten better at defining the Law where the iinternet is concerned, but still way too many areas where common law practices fall into play. The reason these ppl who host links are getting arrested and prosicuted is simple. They are providing a service that allows ppl to break the copyright protection laws. In the US and in many countries, it is illegal to help anyone to commit a crime. Thats what these sites are doing. Now ppl will say that if someone wanted something bad enough they will find a way to get it. This is and of itself true. However the sites offering links are allowing ppl to do it easier. They therefore are a party to the act and normally the first entity arrested. They are a middleman who hosted information which points potential lawbreakers to sites where they can break the law.

wastedkill said:

This is the most stupidest thing I have ever seen.... what's gonna happen next? is someone gonna go to court because they violated the air they breathe or because they used php to make a link by the internet then copy it so its classed as copyright infringement.

I have lost all faith in our world right now and its time someone made a new internet that is totally anonymous without any governments or corporations able to manage it so no one can do stupid things like going to jail for becoming a new google search engine by copying links.

Oh yea and why hasn't google been taken to court yet? they are the BIGGEST copyright criminals in the world as seen in judges eyes they give you access to child porn and illegal software/code etc so why haven't they been taken to court?

Guest said:

Because google is sitting one a giant pile of billions of dollars to defend themselves. most authorities wouldn't know how to operate without google either. so good luck convincing authorities that google is a copyright criminal giant.

but ya a new free under net is what the world needs. or the obliteration of copyright law and all related practice altogether!

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