Saturday, August 23, 2003

Capitalism and the Law: U.S. Man Pleads Guilty to Music Piracy

Reuters reports on the conviction of an online music pirate:

Federal prosecutors on Thursday said a former leader of a group that distributed pirated music ahead of its commercial release pleaded guilty to criminal infringement of copyright laws.

Mark Shumaker, 21, of Orlando, Florida, faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia said in a statement. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 7.

Prosecutors charged that Shumaker headed Apocalypse Crew, a group that would recruit music industry workers, such as radio disc jockeys and employees of music magazines, to obtain pre-release copies of compact disks.

Released to the Internet, the advance copies would filter down to public distribution channels such as the file sharing networks of KaZaa and Morpheus, law enforcement officials charged.
I wonder if Shumaker will get off as lightly as David Smith.

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