Man Charged in 'warez' Piracy Sentenced to Probation

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A Florida man was sentenced to three years probation Thursday for helping run a server used for illegally sharing computer programs and files under copyright.

Steven Fiatarone, 55, was also fined US$2,000 in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Fiatarone's server, nicknamed the "Nite Ranger Hideout," was located in a school in Emporia, Virginia.

The server was part of the "warez" scene, a group of file traders known as "crackers" who break copyright protections on movies and computer software and put the files on password-protected servers for others.

Fiatarone, who went by the nickname "kidzap," uploaded 23,572 files to the server and downloaded 40,487 files between November 2002 and April 2003, according to the indictment. He could have faced a prison sentence, but chose to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement in exchange for a lesser sentence.

Among the programs Fiatarone uploaded was Pro/Concept, a product design engineering program, and ColdFusion MX version 6.0.1, an Internet application development program from Adobe Systems.

Federal prosecutors charged five men in the same indictment for their warez activities. Robert Hardick of Gretzville, New York, was sentenced in August to three years probation

Still pending are the cases of Michael Uszakow of Oakdale, Minnesota; William Parrott of Roanoke Rapids, South Carolina and Dominic Tymorek of Woodstock, Georgia.

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