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5/1/2008
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Warez Site Operator Sentenced To 30 Months

Prosecutors said David Fish's sentencing is linked to the largest and most successful global criminal enforcement actions ever taken against organized piracy.

A Connecticut man was sentenced to 30 months in prison and three years of probation for copyright infringement and circumvention.

The U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California announced this week that David M. Fish, 26, of Woodbury, Conn., would also have to forfeit his computer and other equipment used to infringe on copyrights.

The sentencing was a result of Operation Copycat, led by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office. The sting operation targets online warez groups distributing pirated games, movies, music, and software. The operation has led to 40 convictions and is part of a larger federal crackdown against illegal distribution of copyrighted materials online.

In California, Fish pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, distribution of technology primarily designed to circumvent encryption technology protecting copyright materials and owners, and copyright infringement by electronic means.

Fish also pleaded guilty to one count of criminal infringement of a copyright in the Southern District of Iowa. The two cases were consolidated and prosecuted in California.

Fish built, managed, operated, and scripted warez sites in 2003, 2004, and 2005 while also supplying equipment, brokering, and encoding. One server he used contained about 13,000 pirated titles, including movies, games, software, and music; Fish is believed to have uploaded or downloaded more than 500.

Prosecutors said Fish's arrest is linked to the largest and most successful global criminal enforcement actions ever taken against organized piracy. It falls under two operations that, combined, have resulted in 108 felony convictions; more than 200 search warrants executed in 15 countries; the confiscation of hundreds of computers and illegal online distribution hubs; and the removal of more than $100 million worth of illegally copied copyrighted software, games, movies, and music from illicit distribution channels.

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