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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Teen convicted in P2P case

It's believed to be the first criminal conviction under state law for illegally downloading music and movies. Parvin Dhaliwal, a University of Arizona student, pleaded guilty to possession of unauthorized copies of intellectual property, the Associated Press reports. He was sentenced to "a three-month deferred jail sentence, three years of probation, 200 hours of community service, and a $5,400 fine," according to the AP, and the judge also ordered him to take a copyright class at his university and to avoid using file-sharing services. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties organization, commented on how unusual it was for state courts to be involved in a case about copyright, which is usually a federal-level issue. The Maricopa County Attorney's Office said the young man's case was referred to them because he was a minor at the time. What led up to this? A federal task force that "monitors the Internet caught on to the student and got a warrant," then found "illegal copies of music and movies on Dhaliwal's computer, including films that, at the time of the theft, were available only in theaters. They included 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,' 'Matrix Revolutions,' 'The Cat In The Hat,' and 'Mona Lisa Smile'," the AP added. Parvin *may* have been part of what Wired magazine calls "the shadow Internet." Other examples may be three young men described as "Robin Hoods of cyberspace" who just pleaded guilty to putting copyrighted games, movies, and software on the Internet "so that people around the world could make copies for free," according to the Associated Press.

In other music news, Russian prosecutors decided not to take legal action against AllofMP3.com, a cheap online music provider, "because Russian copyright laws do not cover digital media," the BBC reports . But record industry organizations in the US and Europe aren't finished trying to shut the site down, CNET reports. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission has been asked to investigate two other, US-based, cheap-music sites, Mp3DownloadCity.com and MyMusicInc.com, the Associated Press reports.

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