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. Can’t 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.