Daniel Dove, the 26-year-old Clintwood, Virginia resident and administrator of BitTorrent tracker EliteTorrents, was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison and a $20,000 for his role in the site.
Dove pleaded ???not guilty??? in his trial, which wrapped up late last June. The jury was unconvinced, however, as prosecutors described a site rife with piracy: A Department of Justice press release of the conviction claimed EliteTorrents ???attracted more than 125,000 members,??? who downloaded pirated movies ???more than 1.1 million times.???
That same release accused Dove of members who had very high-speed Internet connections, usually at least 50 times faster than a typical high-speed residential Internet connection, to become Uploaders, as well as operating ???a high-speed server, which [Dove] used to distribute pirated content to the Uploaders.???
EliteTorrents??™ rise to fame, and its subsequent demise, can be traced to a copy of ???Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith???, which the site pre-released approximately six hours prior to its theatrical premier. After attracting the attention of the MPAA, an investigation into the site by the FBI resulted in the site??™s closure in May 2005 (???Operation D-Elite???), as well as the arrest of three administrators.
Of those arrested ??“ Scott McCausland, Grant Stanley, and Daniel Dove ??“ only Dove plead not guilty. McClausland and Stanley immediately received a far more lenient sentence: five months??™ prison and five months??™ house arrest, with Stanley facing an additional fine of $3,000.
Dove??™s conviction is notable for the fact that it is the first criminal P2P case to reach a jury trial.
Elsewhere in the world, UK authorities charged the administrator for invite-only music BitTorrent tracker OiNK with ???conspiracy to defraud,??? after a joint investigation by the music industry and local authorities resulted in its closure last October. Two of OiNK??™s users, whom rumors say uploaded unreleased music to the site, were also charged on one count of copyright infringement for the upload of a single CD.