Two men sentenced to prison on 'warez' charges

Two US men are sentenced to prison terms for their participation in warez file-release groups.

Two US men have been sentenced to prison terms for their participation in online software piracy, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced late Wednesday.

David Chen Pui, 27, of Fountain Valley, California, was sentenced to 12 months in prison for distributing pirated works from his own and other Web sites, and David Lee Pruett, 35, of Auburn, Washington, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his involvement in the software release group Legenda Never Die or LND, the DOJ said.

Pui and Pruett each pled guilty to a single felony count of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement. US District Judge Graham Mullen of the Western District of North Carolina sentenced Pui on Tuesday and Pruett on Wednesday.

The sentencing of Pui and Pruett follows the recent sentencing of Franklin Edward Littel and Shawn Laemmrich in US district courts in Indianapolis and Marquette, Michigan. Both Littel and Laemmrich were sentenced to eight months in prison to be followed by eight months of home confinement.

The convictions are part of a US Federal Bureau of Investigation undercover sting called Operation FastLink, a crackdown on so-called warez piracy rings online. The operation is based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Operation FastLink has resulted in more than 120 search warrants executed in 12 countries, the confiscation of hundreds of computers and illegal online distribution hubs and the removal of more than US$50 million worth of illegally copied copyright software, games, movies and music from illicit distribution channels, the DOJ said.

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