First Federal Convictions for P2P File Sharing

Two men plead guilty to violating copyrights on peer-to-peer networks, marking the first federal criminal convictions for file sharing. According to the Justice Department, William R. Trowbridge, 50, of Johnson City, N.Y., and Michael Chicoine, 47, of San Antonio, each operated an online hub that let people exchange video games, computer programs,digital music and movie files. Both were members of the Underground Network which used Direct Connect software to copy files. The Justice Department stated that the men pleaded guilty because they operated the hubs to obtain valuable infringing works from others. Each faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.