In the first criminal copyright infringement sentence imposed for a cyberlocker operator in the United States, the owner of the RockDizMusic.com got 36 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $50,851.05 and pay $48,288.62 in restitution.
The US Department of Justice said Rocky Ouprasith, 23, of Charlotte, North Carolina operated RockDizMusic.com, a website originally hosted on servers in France and later in Canada, from which Internet users could find and download infringing digital copies of popular, copyrighted songs and albums.
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“Ouprasith operated the second largest online file sharing site in the United States, averaging nearly 4.5 million visits per month and resulting in an estimated collective loss of more than $10 million per month to the rightful owners,” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia in a statement.
According to admissions made in connection with his August guilty plea, between May 2011 and October 2014, Ouprasith said that he obtained digital copies of copyrighted songs and albums – including “pre-release” songs that were not yet commercially available to consumers – from online sources and encouraged and solicited others, referred to as “affiliates,” to upload digital copies of copyrighted songs and albums to websites, including RockDizFile.com, that were hosted on servers in Russia, France and the Netherlands, and that hosted hyperlinks to content being offered for download on RockDizMusic.com. Ouprasith further admitted that to encourage such activity, he agreed to pay the affiliates based on the number of downloads from his website, the DoJ stated.
According to the Recording Industry Association of America, in 2013, RockDizFile.com specialized in the reproduction and distribution of infringing copies of copyrighted music in the United States. Ouprasith admitted that in 2013 and 2014, he either ignored or pretended to take remedial action in response to complaints from copyright holders and their representatives that the website contained links to infringing copies protected songs and albums.
In October 2014, the government shut down RockDizMusic.com and RockDizFile.com, and law enforcement authorities in the Netherlands and France seized file-hosting servers utilized by Ouprasith. According to court documents, the market value of Ouprasith’s illegally-pirated material was more than $6 million, the DoJ stated.
There’s an informative write up of Ouprasith’s activities here.
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