BitTorrent Site Admin Sent to Prison

The 23 year old Grant Stanley has been sentenced to five months in prison, followed by five months of home detention, and a $3000 fine for the work he put in the private BitTorrent tracker Elitetorrents.

This ruling is the first BitTorrent related conviction in the US. Stanley pleaded guilty earlier this year to “conspiracy to commit copyright infringement” and “criminal copyright infringement”. He is one of the three defendants in the Elitetorrents operation better known as “Operation D-Elite”.

Operation D-Elite (they love word tricks) was orchestrated by the FBI with a little help from the MPAA in May 2005, and resulted in the shutdown of one of the largest private BitTorrent trackers at that time.

FBI Take home Message that replaced the Homepage of Elitetorrents after the shutdown

elite torrents fbi

Two months ago we reported that Scott McCausland pleaded guilty to committing the same crimes. Scott is to be sentenced on December 12, 2006, and invited everyone who sympathizes with him to write a letter to the judge on his behalf.

In a response to the present case US Attorney John Brownlee said:

“This is the first criminal enforcement action against copyright infringement on a P2P network using BitTorrent technology. We hope this case sends the message that cyberspace will not provide a shield of anonymity for those who choose to break our copyright laws.”

Stay tuned…

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