After being jailed for his part in uploading a pre-released Star Wars Episode III in 2005, the admin of the EliteTorrents BitTorrent tracker is finally a free man. Around 3 weeks ago Scott was removed from the US government’s monitor list and he now shares his thoughts with TorrentFreak.
It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that the last few years have been pretty miserable for Scott McCausland (sk0t), ex-administrator of the EliteTorrents BitTorrent tracker. After uploading a leaked workprint version of Star Wars: Episode III in 2005, he and other members of the site’s staff were tracked down and arrested by the FBI.
In September 2006, Scott pleaded guilty to two charges – ‘conspiracy to commit copyright infringement’ and ‘criminal copyright infringement’. For his ‘crime’, Scott was sentenced to 5 months in jail and 5 months home confinement but his release didn’t mean his life was back to normal.
After his release in 2007, Scott was fitted with a monitoring ankle bracelet which restricted his freedom, but the government hadn’t finished limiting his life. Scott had to have special software installed on his computer to monitor his online activities, but since it was Windows only, he had to give up his beloved Ubuntu.
In the months that followed, Scott publicly shared details via his blog of his struggle to come to terms with his severe treatment for uploading a single movie, which at times made pretty upsetting reading. Thankfully his nightmare is now coming to an end.
It has been around 3 weeks since Scott was taken off the US government’s monitor list, which means that he is no longer on probation. Scott says things have been pretty good since and he can now do things we all take for granted – like being able to use Ubuntu instead of Windows.
TorrentFreak caught up with Scott who said he was happy to send a message to his friends and readers here to mark his official freedom.
“I have officially been off probation since July 12th. What a great feeling to finally be free from the clutches of evil (or the federal government). It was actually a really easy time on probation. It was 2 years, dealing once a month with my probation officer… who was really a great person,” he told us.
For those of us who remember the exact time and date of the EliteTorrents raid, it seems like only yesterday, but so much has happened since and as Scott puts it, his freedom has been a long time coming.
“I haven’t had a clear head since May 25th, 2005. Over 4 years of what I would call the worst period of my life is over,” he recalls.
But in the end the release from the nightmare comes from Scott himself and he is certainly trying to make the best of things now.
“I have been focusing a lot of time on my family. We bought a house in November, while I was still on home confinement. I am working at a local college, dealing with ERP implementations, specifically Oracle, and I am still actively participating in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and MMA,” he told TorrentFreak.
As if these things won’t keep Scott busy enough, he’s looking forward to a brighter future and a very special occasion.
“I will be hopefully starting back to school for my MBA in the spring. And I am getting married in May 2010. Aside from the economy, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Scott told us that he felt his story is probably no longer worthy of news, so he will take this opportunity to move back into the shadows to get on with his new lease of life.
“This will be the last time most of you hear from me – although there is sk0t.com. The good majority of you have been really supportive… so thank you all for caring, and for
those of you who didn’t care… thanks also.”
I’m sure that the readers will join us in wishing Scott all the best for the future and every happiness in his forthcoming marriage. Good luck Scott.