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Two men have pleaded guilty to copyright-infringement for distributing music, software and movies over the Internet in the first U.S. convictions for piracy over “peer to peer” networks, the Justice Department has said. William Trowbridge, 50, of Johnson City, New York, and Michael Chicoine, 47, of San Antonio, face up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 in the criminal convictions stemming from an August raid, the department said late on Tuesday. Trowbridge and Chicoine operated hubs in a file-sharing network that required members to share between one gigabyte and 100 gigabytes of material, the equivalent of 250,000 songs Attorney General John Ashcroft said when the raid was announced. investigators downloaded material worth $25,000 from the two hubs. Sentencing is set for 29 April in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

See: www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=7371590