back to article US warez sitemaster jailed for 30 months

A US man has been jailed for 30 months for copyright infringement over his involvement in the warez scene. David M. Fish, 26, of Woodbury, Connecticut, was further sentenced to three years on probation this week after he pleaded guilty to criminal copyright infringement and circumvention offences. The computer equipment used …

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  1. Jamie
    Linux

    Funny???

    The gov't always appears to be more willing to go at someone costing them money than a person out victimizing citizens.

  2. ImaGnuber
    Thumb Up

    Yay!

    I get a warm fuzzy feeling every time someone who rips off and distributes other people's stuff goes to jail. I don't care if the thief is making money from it or not. I don't care if it's the same type of material I produce or not (in this case, not).

    Full Disclosure: Every penny I earn or hope to earn comes from the creation of original material.

  3. ImaGnuber

    Ummm Jamie...

    ...you don't consider the creators and sellers of the copyrighted materials to be either citizens or victims???

  4. Kev K
    Paris Hilton

    What a result for the Gov't

    As we all know that you can no longer get "stuph" ™ on

    IRC

    BitTorent

    Other P2P apps

    FTP servers

    Some bloke down the pub/school/mate of a mate

    No wonder theres no end to terrorism

    Pfft

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At this rate

    They will never ever make even the tiniest of tiny dents in this activity.

  6. heystoopid
    Coat

    Sad , just another case of Yankee Injustice at work yet again

    Sad , it appears that whole host of B***S*** additional add on non legitimate charges were primarily laid for a plea bargain style case to gain a questionable conviction based on the old conspiracy theory and the Federal Attorney has conveniently forgotten as usual to list a number of salient but still in force laws in respect to Common Law Fair Use Doctrine , further forgot to mention a certain landmark legal case in that once the encryption keys become common general knowledge it is no longer illegal to own or operate personal use for backup purposes and or convert to other formats , what a murky web he chose to weave !

    Even the propaganda Federales statement leaves many more questions unanswered and is very shallow indeed !

  7. Steve Kay
    Unhappy

    @ImaGnuber

    as a musician myself & someone close to the machinery of the entertainment industries, I sympathise with your frustrations at the free-sharing of creative works.

    However, let's be honest - unless you're a gross player, you're much more a victim of the vicious blind machines that run this business, creaming obscene "overhead" costs from the revenue - I've seen a "lunch cost" of $50,000 for 3 studio engineers and 4 session players for 4 days, when all they ate were sarnies and soft drinks, internally billed (I.e. Provided by the standard canteen staff) - and then the same company claims the finished product "didn't break even".

    These are the parasites of this industry, not the file sharers. The file sharers just gave the industry a chance to plead further poverty, whilst trousering ever increasing amounts.

    It is alleged by the studio that Forrest Gump - one of the most popular films in history, was never "profitable". That's Hollywood accounting.

    Don't demonise the wrong guys - file sharing ain't right, fo sho, but the real thieves are elsewhere, they just got better lawyers.

  8. ImaGnuber

    @Steve

    I don't know how musicians stand it. Ripped off by big companies ('parasites' was definitely the right choice of word) and if they manage to put together a decent indie production and get past the hurdles of getting heard and distribution etc. they can then get ripped off by their 'audience'.

    I think the audience rip-off (file sharers) part of the problem may exist because we are literally immersed in the products of creative people with the result that the uncreative audience comes to think that this 'stuff' is just pumped out by the people who make it and the work itself has no real value.

    Musicians seem to be the most vulnerable group though the problem of copying, counterfeiting, and outright theft has always existed in every area of creative endeavour - in every area of life, for that matter.

    I think the most discouraging aspect of the whole thing is the enthusiasm with which even the 'non-criminal' will jump on the bandwagon when given the opportunity. That's the saddest comment of all.

    No, the excuses they come up with are the saddest comment of all.

    Ah well, screw it. I enjoy my work - even when it isn't going well and that's more than can be said by many people. Speaking of my 'work'... I'd better get back to it.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Free stuph ™

    Free stuph ™

    It's my right !

  10. Neil

    @ImaGnuber

    "Ah well, screw it. I enjoy my work - even when it isn't going well and that's more than can be said by many people. Speaking of my 'work'... I'd better get back to it."

    Stop bitching then. Audiences pay to hear performances, and the vast majority of fans of musicians happily pay for recordings too. They have legitimate complaint when a lot of the money they pay goes to the parasites you speak of and not the artist though, and you can't blame them for that.

    Perhaps you should be careful you don't alienate your 'audience' (as you put it) by insulting people who are for the most part honest folk, paying to hear 'artists' like yourself. On the other hand maybe I should play along and assume that all musicians are whining c*nts.

  11. Olly

    Don't ya just love it

    ...when you sit down to watch a film you bought legitimately, and a screen flashes up, that can't be skipped, that tells you not to be a crook and steal this film. I've paid for it, stop telling me i'm a crook and rubbing it in my face by making me have to sit there until it decides to let you watch the film!!!

    I don't have a problem paying for films (heck you can get most films, not the new stuff, on amazon marketplace for a few quid, why bother spending two days downloading it), what I do have a problem with is why we are forced to watch crap that can't be skipped. At last VHS had a fast search button. Pirated films, whilst generally crap quality and tedious to wait for, do have the advantage that you can start watching without having to sit around and wait to be allowed to start.

  12. Adam Clarkson
    Paris Hilton

    It's all about the costs...

    Most people have illegally downloaded things before. fact. the reason is not because they are criminals or they intend to steal like everyone always makes out, but the fact that in order to buy everything people pump out is way too expensive.

    I have to agree with the parasites been at blame here. If a DVD or music album didnt cost so much then maybe people would buy more. I mean the obvious argument against this is that a song costs 79p on itunes, but then you have the DRM. which is the worlds sh*test thing.

    Lets face it if they stop making these things so expensive and stupidly profitable for the people who didnt actually create them, we might get somewhere towards legality. I just finished producing an album I recorded for a friend and hes now going out and selling the full album at £3. He gives me £1 from the first 100 sales and thats it. Thats just to cover me recording, mastering and doing the covers and burning.

    People will pay that. Sure hes independant and people dont know him, but its the kind of mentality which will get him a long way.

    Paris because no one paid for her sex tape

  13. Jo

    @ ImaGnuber

    Ummm dude he didnt go to jail lol. He got probation. Guess the jails were full that day with 1 million other US citizens

  14. Joe M

    @ImaGnuber

    "Full Disclosure: Every penny I earn or hope to earn comes from the creation of original material."

    So does mine, but I still think you are a bloody idiot!

    Anyone who gets a "warm and fuzzy feeling" at seeing someone else's misfortune is at least an idiot or perhaps worse. Your moralising bulls**t doesn't cut the ice after that one.

  15. ImaGnuber

    Those Justifications

    @Neil

    1. I'm not a musician but I sympathise with their plight.

    2. In my experience the only people who get upset with anti-theft talk are thieves.

    3. Happy to alienate thieves.

    4. As for 'most people are honest' I think that should be 'most people are honest most of the time'. Unfortunately I'm finding that to be less and less true as time goes by.

    RE:"They have legitimate complaint..."

    Yeah, and too many think stealing is an acceptable response. If they don't like the way a company does business then they shouldn't buy their product. Of course that would mean that they would have to do without something they want so they have to pretend to themselves that they are engaged in some kind of noble protest while they're stealing.

    I find it mind boggling that people who think the musicians don't get enough money from the evil corporation turn around and do something that guarantees that the musician gets NOTHING. And it never occurs to them that that makes the thieves and file-sharers worse than the corporations for the effect they have on the musicians.

    If you are buying recordings and paying for performances - great. Keep it up.

    @Olly

    "At last VHS had a fast search button"

    Yeah, not being allowed to skip that stuff is irritating.

    As for 'pirated films' - tsk.tsk.

    @Adam

    "Most people have illegally downloaded things before. fact. the reason is not because they are criminals or they intend to steal like everyone always makes out, but the fact that in order to buy everything people pump out is way too expensive."

    Excuse me? You can't afford it so you're entitled to steal it? I've heard that before and it blows me away every time.

    As for "I just finished producing an album I recorded for a friend and..."

    Great! Somebody who does something! And best wishes to your friend too. Hope he does well.

  16. Olly
    Dead Vulture

    @Jo

    Might want to read the DoJ statment there, he's been thrown in the hole for 30 months and is then on a 3 year supervision order when he finally sees the light of day.

  17. Olly
    Joke

    @ImaGnuber

    'ere, don't mis quote me, I pointed out the pirated films don't force you to watch the "you've knicked this" crap, I made no statements regarding their legitimacy or not, it was a technical analysis only. Tsk tsk :P

  18. ImaGnuber

    @Joe M.

    "Anyone who gets a "warm and fuzzy feeling" at seeing someone else's misfortune is at least an idiot or perhaps worse. Your moralising bulls**t doesn't cut the ice after that one."

    Someone else's misfortune? He is being punished for a crime. He is being punished for a crime he knowingly committed. He is being punished for a crime that caused harm to others. And you think he deserves any kind of sympathy? You think I shouldn't be happy that he is off the street? You think I should take some kind of sympathetic, or at least neutral stance?

    How about this: Shakes head and gazes sadly into the distance and mutters "Ah the tragedy of man. So sad."

    Yeah, right. Enjoy your nice fluffy day.

  19. ImaGnuber

    @Olly

    My apologies. Unforgiveable misinterpretation.

    Hits self on head. Mutters "Ah the tragedy of man." etc.

  20. dave
    Unhappy

    @ima

    Who exactly is stealing your work? The target audience (yo mumma and 3 of your friends) have probably already been subjected to it anyway. I bet you’d make more money if you actually passed it out to bit torrenters, and maybe drum up some interest, and to wish someone else goes to prison? shame on you! Who made you so perfect you two bit punk, who do you think you are AXL ROSE???

    YOU TW*T

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @dave

    It would appear that imagnubers work provides him with sufficient funds to buy the things he wants, whereas your efforts don't even hit that do they?

  22. Adam Clarkson

    @Ima

    Apologies. I just read back what you called me on and it doesn't sound great. Bad phrasing I'm afraid.

    I didn't mean to offer it as justification, more as the reason people do it. People will steal music because they don't want to pay for every CD they want. Im not saying it is the right thing to do. Just offering my view of the facts!

    and thanks for the acknowledgment about the recording part, I'm sure he will go far!

  23. ImaGnuber

    Dear Dave

    I did not say anyone is stealing my work. I have no problem selling what I produce so your nonsense about "I bet you'd probably make more money..." is just uninformed bullshit. Gee that's a surprise.

    I expressed sympathy for those who are struggling and who have to deal with, in addition to all of their other problems, assholes who steal THEIR work. Try to follow the thread.

    "Who made you so perfect"

    I have not claimed perfection but I suppose you're one of those idiots who think that only perfect people get to complain about thieves etc. and wish to see them stopped and take pleasure in that wonderful event?

    "And to wish someone else go to prison"

    That's the place for thieves and other criminals. Become a thief and that's the chance you take. At least the one professional thief I've known accepted that and didn't whine about it. He also acknowledged what he was and didn't try to dress it up as something else. That seems to be the big difference between the pros and the amateur whining 'rebels'.

    Prison ain't a nice place. You'd have to be from another universe not to know that. Want to avoid prison? Don't deliberately do something that can land you there. And if you do decide to commit a crime, have the fortitude to not whine about the consequences.

    And please don't demand sympathy for those who have deliberately chosen that path. They haven't shown any sympathy for their victims.

  24. ImaGnuber

    Ooh Ooh Forgot...

    I knew one other pro thief though she ended up stealing to support her habit. She went to jail. She didn't whine about it. She turned her life around and is doing very well.

    And just to feed the geek fantasy machine - she was incredibly beautiful (no bullshit).

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ImaGnuber

    [Disclaimer: Not all of my income comes from my creative efforts]

    > He is being punished for a crime that caused harm to others

    How do you know it caused harm to others?

    IME, people buy what they want to buy - whether they can get it without paying or not.

    People who download stuff are not customers; if the downloads went away, they would just do without. No cash is being lost to this activity.

    Just occasionally, someone might download something he didn't think he wanted - and then decide to buy the genuine item on the back of that experience. That's cash for the originator that would not have happened had it not been for the original download...

    Oh an BTW - copyright infringement is *not* theft, whatever the parasites might like us all to believe. See the very start of the Theft Act 1968 for a decent definition.

  26. dave
    Stop

    @Jonb

    John,

    Look, i dont agree with the idea of taking someones work and giving nothing back. i buy plenty of Music, Films, Games etc

    but i dont agree with people confusing copyright infringement with theft and I dont agree with people serving prison time for it, especially not when no money is involved.

    America has the highest prison pop per population of the country, do they have the lowest crime rate? no!

    To all the daily mail reading, wannabe middleclass arsehole fascists such as Ima, what happens when the government criminalize what you do will you be so high and mighty then?

    I am not a freetard or what ever you want to call it, but people like you would have others sent to prison for taping the simpsons from Tv.

  27. ImaGnuber

    Get real

    @AC

    "IME, people buy what they want to buy - whether they can get it without paying or not.

    People who download stuff are not customers; if the downloads went away, they would just do without. No cash is being lost to this activity."

    Oh not that again. Taking something without permission or payment is theft. Period. 'You can't charge me with anything, Judge, 'cause I wouldn't have taken it if it hadn't been available and sometimes I buy things.' Huh?

    "Just occasionally, someone might download something he didn't think he wanted - and then decide to buy the genuine item on the back of that experience."

    Wow! Another one who thinks people should be happy when their stuff gets ripped off and spread around 'cause somebody 'might' occasionally buy something. And to think some of the sad-asses aren't suitably grateful.

    @dave

    "To all the daily mail reading, wannabe middleclass arsehole fascists such as Ima, what happens when the government criminalize what you do will you be so high and mighty then?"

    Yeah I'm a fascist because I don't think 'Because I wanna' is an ethical standard. Must remember to pick up my brown shirt from the dry cleaner.

    As for "when the government criminalize... blah, blah" Yeah great argument. The big bad gov might make it illegal to do what I do so I should be humble (!?) and turn a blind eye to all criminal activities* because well, ya never know (accompanied by spooky sounds).

    *at least the ones you might want to engage in.

    Yeah that makes sense.

    Sorry guys - I just don't agree that 'the right to steal' is a right I should want to stand up for. If you were stealing food or medicine because you genuinely couldn't get it any other way then that is another matter but music? games? movies? C'mon. Get real.

  28. Moogal
    Coat

    Somebody call Roy Walker

    "Say goodbye, Mr Fish."

    He's waving.

  29. ImaGnuber
    Happy

    Damn Moogal

    Why is it that if you are sipping coffee while scanning comments someone inevitably makes you laugh?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ImaGnuber

    > Oh not that again. Taking something without permission or payment is theft. Period.

    Perhaps. But copying something without permission is not theft. Period. Because it doesn't involve taking anything, nor does it involve an intention permanently to deprive the originator of anthing.

    > 'You can't charge me with anything, Judge, 'cause I wouldn't have taken it if it

    > hadn't been available and sometimes I buy things.' Huh?

    Ooh look - a cheapo strawman.

    If you're going to reply to stuff, reply to what's there, not the voices in yer heid.

    > Wow! Another one who thinks people should be happy when their stuff gets

    > ripped off and spread around 'cause somebody 'might' occasionally buy

    > something.

    No-one said anything about being happy - just that it is *not* the crime you claim it to be (copyright infringment is a civil offence, whereas theft is a crime), and it does *not* involve the losses you and your parasitical buddies claim; this in not lost revenue. And note I'm still not claiming it's a good thing - just that your description of it is almost entirely incorrect.

  31. Sarah
    Thumb Up

    Free Stuph rocks!

    Personally I'll say this to all the artists going "Whaaa Whaaa, P2P makes baby jebus cry... Whaa, Whaa, o noes my money!" Shut! Up!

    If you were any actual good at what you do then your records would sell. If you were good then the P2Pers would be downloading your stuff and then going off to buy it (which a percentage of them do). If you were any good you'd have gigs comming out your rear and a nifty line in merchandise that was selling 'quite well'.

    If, you were any good that is.

    No, I don't want 'tight guitars' nor do I want YADFTB (Yet Another Dumb F****** Tribute Band) you're not ABBA, Blur, Queen or whomever your tributing. You don't sound like them, actually, you suck!

    Stop sucking and work hard. That's all you have to do, but you won't do the first bit and as your incessantly whining about P2P you're obviously not going to do the second either. So you'll always suck and be lazy. If you didn't suck and you worked hard, you could well live off your original content... but here's a newsflash people are going to pay only so many times to hear a new version of a classic song, if you can't make original content I suggest you give up.

    P2P isn't the cancer killing the music and movie business. Lazy assholes, producing naff content then whining that they could of been big time if only P2P hadn't taken it from them are! Give me something new, something dynamic, something original and I'll pay you for it. Give me "Hollywood Action Movie #3434234" and I'll torrent it then bin it after a single viewing.

  32. ImaGnuber

    Opposite sides of the fence.

    I think we're seeing arguments from opposite sides of the fence here. People who actually create something aren't too happy with people who copy and redistribute their work without permission and the freetards who can't come any closer to creativity than copying (and often distributing) other people's work and producing moronic arguments to support that activity.

    I haven't noticed any of the uncreative freetards writing in to say "You can download the results of my hard work and distribute it as you like without payment. It is available [here]". Of course they would have to be capable of producing something original, they would have to have something to offer.

    Many professional creative people (most of us, probably) do offer *some* of our work for free. We help people and organisations who are doing something worthwhile but can't afford professional help. This isn't something that is done in our 'free time'. We offer professional time and effort that would otherwise be producing income - sometimes very considerable time and effort.

    Forgive me if I don't regard freetards as a group I wish to support.

  33. Steen Hive
    Thumb Down

    @ImaGnuber

    "Sorry guys - I just don't agree that 'the right to steal' is a right I should want to stand up for. If you were stealing food or medicine because you genuinely couldn't get it any other way then that is another matter but music? games? movies? C'mon. Get real."

    There you go again, it's not the "right to steal" it's "the right to copy"(exclusively), and as has been pointed out to you already, it is a civil matter as an infringement of a law protecting a limited right bestowed upon the producer of works by the state alone, not larceny.

    "Forgive me if I don't regard freetards as a group I wish to support"

    You should think again, because as a producer of works, they are 100% of your market. You aren't American, perchance? Dichotomic worldviews are popular there.

  34. ratfox Silver badge
    Unhappy

    @copyright infrigement is not theft

    I heard many time this argument that copyright infringement is not theft, because "nothing was taken". Well, even when you don't take anything, there's a load of things you need to pay for, and even if it is not theft, it is still criminal if you don't pay.

    For instance, you need to pay for live concert, or for watching a movie at the theater - even though you're not "taking" anything either. You need to pay for riding a bus or a train. You need to pay hookers. In some place, you need to pay for going to university.

    Maybe copyright infringement is not technically theft, but it is still illegal, and the word most closely describing the activity is theft.

    I also am quite tired of the argument that if everybody is downloading the music, some people are even going to hear it by chance and say: "Hey, let's buy this stuff". I bet for everybody who does that, there's a shitload of people who will want to have it, and decide to download it instead of paying.

    In case anybody is wondering, I am not an artist and I never plan to be one.

  35. Steen Hive
    Paris Hilton

    @ratfox

    "Maybe copyright infringement is not technically theft, but it is still illegal, and the word most closely describing the activity is theft."

    "Technically", it is theft, but not larceny - for the millionth time (sigh) the works are not stolen, the "copyright" is. Again, copyright is not a natural property right, nor is copyright law the protection of a tangible asset. It is an implicit contract between the state and the creator to help the creator obtain reward for his works. "Copyright infringement" is also not "technically" illegal. It is "technically" unlawful with regard to the civil code in most juristictions, though.

    Criminalising ordinary people for what are actually civil offences, removing *much* more important rights (like privacy and freedom from arbitary search and seizure for example) in order to protect the business model of a cartel is orders of magnitude more dangerous and immoral than copyright theft - it is (among other things) used as leverage to precipitate total surveillence of the population by the state and business interests. If only artists et. al. could see where the real criminals are.

    Yes, I'm an artist. I know which side my bread is really buttered on, though.

    Paris, because as you know copyright subsists in her video, and obviously anyone that looked at it is a filthy criminal paedophile terrorist thief freetard who deserves to be locked up. </sarkybastard>

  36. oldfartuk
    Stop

    Greedy BIll

    I will pay for shareware and stuff from one man bands I just quite happy paid $30 for a licence for Superantispyware). I will not give, over my dead body., a red cent to the greedy bastards at Microsoft and Sony, and therefore have no qualms whatsoever about ripping their software off. They rip us english off all the time - look at MS Office: $350 in the US and £350 in the UK, practically twice the price without even blinking.

    Microsoft could, for example, give Office away free to every school in the UK and US, as a gesture of community spirit, since education of our children is important, and it wouldn't cost them a red cent if they did it by download, instead they insist of taking there pound of flesh relentlessly - £75 a machine, in the case of the UK. They dont even need the money, but the school certainly does.

    Greedy, greedy, greedy to the last, eh, Bill ?

  37. TrishaD

    ImaGnuber

    Is absolutely correct both ethically and practically.

    Of the various comments posted attacking his position, I cannot resist responding to just one.

    @ Sarah

    Self serving, incoherent, gibberish. Presumably a fair example of freetard thinking

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