Man Pleads Guilty in P2P Piracy Probe

Apr 19, 2007

A Georgia man is the fifth defendant to go down in connection with a piracy ring that used BitTorrent technology to illegally distribute movies, software and games.

A fifth defendant pleaded guilty Tuesday in connection with a piracy ring that used BitTorrent technology to distribute copyrighted movies, software, games and music over a peer-to-peer network.

Sam Kuonen, 24, of Columbus, Ga., pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and criminal copyright infringement in violation of the Family Entertainment Copyright Act, according to officials at the U.S. Department of Justice. The plea was entered in U.S. District Court in Kansas. Kuonen faces up to five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release when he is scheduled to be sentenced on July 16.

Kuonen's conviction arose from an ongoing crackdown involving ICE and the FBI as part of the Computer and Technology Crime High Tech Response Team (CATCH), a San Diego task force of specially trained prosecutors and law enforcement officers who focus on high-tech crime. Nicknamed Operation D-Elite, the investigation that snared Kuonen targeted the illegal distribution of copyrighted material on P2P networks employing the BitTorrent, a P2P communications protocol for file sharing.

Operation D-Elite put a bull's eye on members of P2P network known as Elite Torrents. Investigators claim that at its prime, the Elite Torrents network attracted more than 133,000 members and facilitated the illegal distribution of more than 17,800 titles - including movies, software, music and games - which were downloaded more than 2 million times. On May 25, 2005, federal agents shut down the Elite Torrents network by taking control of its main server.

Kuonen was an "uploader" to the Elite Torrents network, supplying the network with the first copy of a particular movie or other piece of content so that it could be made available for download to the entire network.

Federal authorities credited the Motion Picture Association of America for providing their assistance in the investigation.

Copyright 2007 by Ziff Davis Media, Distributed by United Press International

Explore further: US Congress decriminalizes cellphone unlocking

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Pirate Bay sails to North Korea?

Mar 05, 2013

After Google chairman Eric Schmidt and former NBA star Dennis Rodman, the notorious file-sharing site The Pirate Bay is claiming to be the latest unexpected visitor to Stalinist North Korea.

Silicon Valley Seeks to Revamp Wireless Industry

Apr 15, 2007

A start-up backed by Silicon Valley's power elite hopes to convince regulators to back a business plan that could scrap many restrictions on wireless networks and help Internet service providers like Google Inc. and Yahoo ...

Philippines opens up to 3G networks

Dec 29, 2005

In a bid to beef up the country's wireless network, the Filipino government has approved four major domestic carriers to provide third-generation cellular services from 2008.

Trade unionism hits India's BPO

Nov 08, 2005

They may be considered the sweatshop laborers of the information age in the developed world, but call-center and help-desk workers are considered to be professional elites in India.

Recommended for you

Scalping can raise ticket prices

Jul 25, 2014

Scalping gets a bad rap. For years, artists and concert promoters have stigmatized ticket resale as a practice that unfairly hurts their own sales and forces fans to pay exorbitant prices for tickets to sold-out concerts. ...

Study shows role of media in sharing life events

Jul 24, 2014

To share is human. And the means to share personal news—good and bad—have exploded over the last decade, particularly social media and texting. But until now, all research about what is known as "social sharing," or the ...

User comments : 0