A Florida man was sentenced to three years probation on Thursday for his part in running a ‘warez’ server. The 55 year old, known online as ‘kidzap’, would’ve most likely been sent to jail, but avoided incarceration by pleading guilty to conspiring to commit copyright infringement. He collects a $2,000 fine.
Back in April this year, we reported that five men were arrested in connection with the operation of ‘warez’ scene servers known as TEN (The Ether Net), TBR (The Boxer Rebellion) and NRH (Nite Ranger Hideout).
The men were snared as part of ‘Operation Higher Education’ – a component of ‘Operation Fastlink‘ – and charged with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. Dominic Tymorek, a 53 year-old from Woodstock, Georgia, and 57 year-old Robert Hardick, of Getzville, N.Y., faced three counts. Steven Fiatarone, a 55 year-old from Spring Hill, Florida and 43-year-old Michael Uszakow, of Oakdale, Minn., faced two counts and William Parrott, of Roanoke Rapids, N.C., faced one count.
Previously, 57 year-old Robert Hardick, known as ‘tcut’, was found guilty of helping to run the ‘TEN’ and ‘TBR’ servers and was facing a five year prison sentence and huge fine. However, Hardick agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy, and as a result picked up three years probation instead, which included 6 months of home confinement.
Steven Fiatarone of Spring Hill, Florida, also faced a harsh sentence of 5 years in jail and a $250,000 fine. However, he pleaded guilty on July 8th this year to one count of conspiracy, making a similar deal to Hardwick in return for a more lenient sentence.
On Thursday, Fiatarone appeared in the U.S. District Court for Connecticut, for his offenses linked to his operation of the warez server known as NRH (Nite Ranger Hideout), which was actually located in a school in Emporia, Virginia. Fiatarone, also known as ‘kidzap’, setup the server in 2001 and was alleged to have uploaded over 23,000 files and downloaded more than 40,000 in his role as administrator of NRH during 2002 and 2003.
Senior United States District Judge Ellen Bree Burns sentenced Fiataroine to three years of probation for conspiring to commit criminal copyright infringement, with the addition of a $2,000 fine.