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DOJ sinks another EliteTorrent admin

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Another ex-administrator of former BitTorrent tracker Elitetorrents is facing prison time for his part in the site's peer-to-peer sharing of copyright material.

Daniel Dove, 26, was convicted by a jury on separate counts of "conspiracy and felony copyright infringement," the US Department of Justice announced today.

Dove helped supply pirated material to the website and recruited members who had high speed internet connections to join in uploading content.

Fellow admins, Scott McCausland, Grant Stanley, Sam Kuonen, and Scott Harvanek, all pleaded guilty to similar charges rather than take their cases to a jury. The DOJ says its the first criminal conviction after a jury trial for P2P copyright infringement.

EliteTorrents was one of the largest "private" trackers in operation between 2003 and 2005. In May, 2005, Operation D-Elite, a combined force of the FBI CyberCrime Fraud Unit and Homeland Security, shut down the site. The Motion Picture Association of America also provided "substantial assistance" to the D-Elite investigation.

Working on 10 search warrants, The Feds seized control of the EliteTorrents' central server to obtain information about the site's administrators. According to the DOJ, they found more than 17,800 movie titles being seeded by about 133,000 EliteTorrents members. They contend many of the movies distributed on the site, such as Star Wars Episode III, appeared there before the movies were yet released in theaters. (Star Wars II: Revenge of the Sith appears again and again on DOJ press release for Operation D-Elite as an example. Somebody is a George Lucas fan.)

Dove's sentencing is scheduled for September 9, 2008. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. ®

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