P2P hub operators plead guilty

Copyright violaters face clink

Two P2P users in the United States have pleaded guilty to distributing copyright material and face five years' jail and a fine of up to $250,000.

The Feds were responding to pressure from the major record and movie mulitnationals and have now secured their first P2P piracy convictions. Investigators downloaded material worth $25,000 from hubs of the "Underground Network", the Justice Department said. The DoJ portrayed this as a blow against major crime. But $25,000 equates to just 300 DVDs and just over a thousand CDs: not a particularly large library for a culture-consuming household.

William Trowbridge, age 50, of Johnson City, NY, and Michael Chicoine, 47, of San Antonio Texas pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to commit felony copyright infringement and one of acting for commercial advantage.

The pair are due to be sentenced on 29 April. ®

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