Alleged music pirate pleads guilty

The alleged former leader of a music file-uploading group called the Apocalypse Crew has reportedly submitted a guilty plea to the U.S. Department of Justice.

According to prosecutors, 21 year-old Mark Shumaker helped upload albums online for file traders before they went on sale. He also helped run the Apocalypse Crew's Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel, which likely made it easier for prosecutors to identify and catch him.

Shumaker now faces a maximum prison sentence of five years and a maximum fine of US$250,000. He will be sentenced in US federal court on Nov. 7.

"This plea shows that those who steal copyrighted music from artists and believe they are doing so anonymously on the Internet are sadly mistaken,"Justice Department attorney Paul McNulty said in a statement. "We can find you, we will find you, and we will prosecute you."

Entering a guilty plea was probably a decent defensive strategy for Shumaker who likely had few financial resources to fight in court. He was targeted as part of Operation Buccaneer, a US federal anti-piracy initiative which prosecutors say has resulted in more than 22 convictions for felony copyright infringement.

Shumaker's case is reportedly the first to involve criminal penalties. The U.S. government is also attempting to extradite another supposed big fish file trader, Australian Raymond Griffiths, who is alleged to be the leader of another group called Drink or Die. Griffiths is reportedly facing a 10-year prison term.

While these prosecutions will discourage some groups from mass uploading of new music, it will only drive other file traders deeper underground and into places outside the reach of U.S. extradition treaties. Sharman Network, developers of Kazaa, recently sent a letter, which can be viewed in the Web, to the Google search engine asking it to remove links to 15 sites that are running unauthorized copies of the Kazaa P2P software. The sites were alleged to be in breach of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Google continues to list the demand letter from Sharman, which includes the full URLs of the sites it removed.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ann Harrison

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?