Pioneering Music Piracy Group Suffers Another Conviction

aPOCALYPSE pRODUCTION cREW (aPC) was a pioneering music piracy group, thought by many to be the first such outfit to leak pre-release mp3 files to the Internet in an organized manner. In his role as server administrator for the group, 'Dextro' is facing 5 years in jail and a $250,000 fine.

Yesterday saw Barry Gitarts convicted by a jury in the Eastern District of Virginia of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement.

Gitarts, aged 25, of Brooklyn, N.Y, previously operated under the alias ‘Dextro’ within the warez group aPOCALYPSE pRODUCTION cREW (aPC), thought to be first organized group to coordinate the pre-release uploading of mp3 files to the Internet. aPC were particularly successful in obtaining pre-release music CDs from music industry insiders and magazine workers.

aPC

According to evidence presented at the trial, between June 2003 and April 2004, Gitarts financed and ran a Texas-based server that the aPC group used to store thousands of music files, movies, software and video games.

“Music piracy is stealing and, unless you want to end up in a federal prison, don’t do it,” said U.S. Attorney Rosenberg.

For his part in the operation of the group, Gitarts is facing a possible five in years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release, however he is not the first aPC member to appear in court. So far, 15 criminal convictions have been handed down to aPC members including Mark Shumaker of Florida (aka ‘MarkAlso’), a previous leader of aPC who already admitted criminal copyright infringement back in 2003. Gitarts is accused of receiving payments from Shumaker.

District Court Judge Liam O’Grady will decide Gitarts’ fate when he sentences him on 8th August 2008.

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