Feeds

Feds bust world's most prolific music piracy ring

Rabid Neurosis institutionalized

Website security in corporate America

Six men have been accused of running the world's most prolific music piracy ring, an online crew federal prosecutors allege delivered more than 25,000 copyrighted albums, often before they were officially released.

As members of Rabid Neurosis, or RNS as the group was called, they tapped insiders at music retailers, radio stations, and CD manufacturing plants, who were able to get their hands on music titles before their commercial release in the US. In other cases, they turned to affiliates elsewhere in the world, who were able to supply music that was not yet available in America.

"These reproductions were done for the benefit of the members of RNS and other affiliated piracy groups, in that, by getting a reputation for providing pirated materials that were previously unavailable on the piracy scene, RNS members were granted access to massive libraries of pirated music, video games, software and movies," prosecutors alleged in court documents filed Wednesday.

The claim of personal benefit is important, since sentencing guidelines frequently require a showing that copyright infringers financially gained from their activities.

Wednesday's indictment, filed in US District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia, named Adil R. Cassim, 29, of Granada Hills, California, the alleged leader of the group, Matthew D. Chow, 28, of Missouri City, Texas, Bennie L. Glover, 35, of Shelby, North Carolina, an employee of a CD production plant, and Edward Mohan II, 46, of Baltimore.

Each was charged with a single count of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement. If convicted each faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, in addition to a possible order to pay restitution.

Patrick L. Saunders, 30, of Brooklyn, New York, was charged in August and pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count of copyright infringement. James A. Dockery, 39, of Mooresboro, North Carolina was charged on Tuesday.

Chow, intends to plead not guilty during a court appearance scheduled for next week, his Houston-based attorney, Terry W. Yates, said. Attorneys for the remaining defendants couldn't be reached for comment.

According to Saunders's plea agreement, RNS willfully infringed more than 25,000 copyrighted titles during its decade in operation. Its first release was in 1996, with a copy of Metallica's Ride the Lightning, and its final official act was the posting of Fall Out Boy's Infinity on High in January 2007. In March 2006, an RNS member distributed Cassandra Wilson's Thunderbird album about a month before its commercial release.

"During its existence, RNS was generally viewed as the most successful internet music piracy release group in the world," the agreement, which was signed by Saunders, stated. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group
Security be not a dirty word, me Satya. But crevice, bigod...
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.