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's leftovers

Kernel Space: Linux, Graphics

Leftovers: Software

  • Introducing Stremio, a More Complete and Powerful Popcorn Time Alternative
    Stremio is an application built with Electron that streams and plays movies, TV shows, Youtube channels, and TV channels, from torrents. Sounds familiar?
  • mt-st project new homepage
    A short public notice: mt-st project new homepage at https://github.com/iustin/mt-st. Feel free to forward your distribution-specific patches for upstream integration!
  • letsencrypt support in propellor
    I'm using the reference letsencrypt client. While I've seen complaints that it has a lot of dependencies and is too complicated, it seemed to only need to pull in a few packages, and use only a few megabytes of disk space, and it has fewer options than ls does. So seems fine. (Although it would be nice to have some alternatives packaged in Debian.)
  • New release: usbguard-0.4
    I’m not dead yet. And the project is still alive too. It’s been a while since the last release, so it’s time to do another. The biggest improvements were made to the rule language by introducing the rule conditions and to the CLI by introducing a new command, usbguard, for interacting with a running USBGuard daemon instance and for generating initial policies.
  • The Improvements To GNOME's Nautilus 3.20 FIle Manager
  • Nautilus 3.20 Will Be a Major Upgrade, Here's What's New
    A new GNOME major upgrade is on its way, and it will ship with Nautilus 3.20. One of the developers working on it has presented some of the major features that will land.

today's howtos