Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

More arrests, computers seized in FBI piracy bust

Filed under
Web

The Justice Department seized hundreds of computers and arrested four people in an international crackdown on Internet pirates illegally distributing copyrighted video games, software and first-run movies, such as the latest episode of "Star Wars."

Agents executed 90 search warrants in the United States and 10 other countries as part of Operation Site Down. The raids, which began Wednesday, shut down at least eight major online distributors and seized pirated works worth more than $50 million, authorities said.

At a news conference Thursday, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales credited the busts with "striking at the top of the copyright piracy supply chain." Gonzales said the piracy rings are responsible for providing ``the vast majority of the illegal digital content now available online.''

Online piracy rings are known as "warez," pronounced ``wares.'' They function as underground cyberspace co-ops, in which members swap the latest copyrighted material. Warez groups are notoriously difficult to penetrate. Many are based overseas and users are tech-savvy, communicating in encrypted messages and requiring codes and passwords.

FBI agents infiltrated the secretive community by setting up servers and offering large amounts of computer space for members to store stolen material, according to court papers filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California.

Pirated material soon poured onto the FBI server, including "Batman Begins," "Bewitched" and "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith," which arrived just hours after it opened in movie theaters across the country.

The federal operation targeted "first-providers," or those who provide the copyrighted work to the groups.

Arrested were: William Venya, 34, of Chatsworth; Chirayu Patel, 23, of Fremont; Nate Lovell, 22, of Boulder, Colo.; and David Fish, 24, of Watertown, Conn. Criminal complaints charged each with copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement.

The four have been ordered to appear July 14 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd in San Jose.

By Shannon McCaffrey
Knight Ridder

More in Tux Machines

Today in Techrights

Open Source Software: Sailing Into Friendlier Seas

Open source software is now a force drawing enterprises and developers like a magnet. The factors pulling adopters into the open source fold are changing, though. Also changing are the attitudes of software developers and corporate leaders about the viability and adaptability of open source. Open source software is increasingly important within the corporation, as a recent survey conducted by Black Duck Software and North Bridge Venture Partners found. Developers and corporate leaders now view open source software as a strategic advantage that can help companies create more secure products with better features and functionality. This helps adopters beat the competition. Read more

Linux at 23, Desktop Feedback, and GIMP 2.8.14 Released

The top story tonight is the releases of GIMP 2.8.12 and 2.8.14. Linux celebrated 23 years yesterday and the community had a bit to say about "the desktop." And finally tonight we have a couple of gaming announcements and Bruce Byfield on the KDE Visual Design Group. Read more

Tux Paint: Doing FOSS Right

Apparently, I’m not alone in thinking highly of the software, if this page of testimonials is any indication. In fact, the publication “This Old Schoolhouse” recently echoed many other reviews in their article in the June 2012 edition. In the article, Andy Harris, the Tech Homeschooler, wrote, “Tux Paint is just about the most kid-friendly program I’ve ever seen. It’s designed so the adult can set it up, and even very young children can enjoy it thoroughly. It also has sophisticated enough features for siblings and parents to enjoy.” Tux Paint is a project that does FOSS right: A wide-ranging team labors for the good of the program and consistently puts out quality software without fanfare or self-congratulation. The proof, as they say, is in the software itself: high-quality software which enjoys a high degree of acceptance with teachers and parents, to say nothing of holding the interest – and unlocking the creativity – of children. Read more