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By | Austin Modine 5th September 2007 00:08

Warez land man 30 months in prison

Just because your friends distribute 20,000 copyrighted works...

An Illinois man was sentenced to 30 months in prison for his part in an organized online software distribution conspiracy, the US Department of Justice announced late last week. That's warez, if you don't prefer the grandiose.

After serving his time, El will get an additional three years of supervision by District Judge Ellen Burns in New Haven, Connecticut.

On May 4, 2007, El pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. US Assistant Attorney General Kevin O'Connor said El participated in the distribution of approximately 20,000 copyright works over the internet, including video games, DVDs and music before they were commercially available to the public. (By the way, that adds up to about 666 copyright violations per month behind bars.)

According to the DoJ, El had access to a number of FTP sites where he was authorized to upload pirated software and likewise download copyright works in return. The charges noted one particular site known as "The Ether Net," where El was most active.

Eli El, 40, is the 12th defendant to be convicted in Operation Safehaven, a 15-month investigation of pirate software led by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The name 'Safehaven' derives from a Digital Millennium Copyright Act limitation which protects ISPs against copyright liability if they remove the content quickly and provide the identity of the copyright infringer. In April 2003, Operation Safehaven culminated with the simultaneous execution of more than 20 search warrents nationwide, resulting in the seizure of thousands of CDs and DVDs, and dozens of computers and servers. ®

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