P-to-P Network Administrator Gets Prison Sentence

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An administrator of a peer-to-peer network focused on distributing movies has been sentenced to 18 months in prison, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Daniel Dove, 26, formerly of Clintwood, Virginia, was an administrator for EliteTorrents.org, a site focused on releasing pirated movies, the DOJ said. Judge James Jones of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia fined Dove US$20,000 in addition to the prison sentence, the DOJ said Tuesday.

A jury found Dove guilty of conspiracy and felony copyright infringement on June 26.

Before it closed in May 2005, EliteTorrents.org offered movies to other P-to-P users, often before the movies were in general release at theaters, the DOJ said.

Dove was an administrator of a small group of EliteTorrents members known as "uploaders," who were responsible for supplying pirated content to the group, the DOJ said. Dove recruited members who had very high-speed Internet connections to become uploaders, and Dove operated a high-speed server, which he used to distribute pirated content, the DOJ said.

Dove's conviction is the eighth resulting from Operation D-Elite, a federal crackdown against the illegal distribution of movies, software, games and music over P-to-P networks using BitTorrent file-sharing technology. Operation D-Elite focused on the EliteTorrents P-to-P network, which at one point had more than 125,000 members and shared 700 movies. The network also offered pirated software, video games and music to its members, the DOJ said.

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