Criminal conviction for Brooklyn music infringer

June 2008


Barry Gitarts, a 25-year-old Brooklyn man, has been found guilty of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement by a federal jury in Virginia. Under the pseudonym “Dextro,” Gitarts was charged with administering a server in Texas for an underground file sharing group called Apocalypse Production Crew – APC members traded music, games, movies and software amongst themselves but trial testimony from the Recording Industry Association of America portrayed APC as a “first provider” or “release group” of pirated content, often pre-release material, sometimes months before retail release. Evidence presented in the case showed that he received payment from the leader of the group in return for this work. Gitarts appears to be the 15th APC member to be convicted for criminal copyright infringement as part of U.S. Department of Justice’s long-running Operation Fastlink but this was the first case that has gone to a trial. U.S. District Court Judge Liam O’Grady will sentence Gitarts on August 8 th and penalties extend to a maximum of five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and three years of supervised release. In addition, he must “make full restitution” to the record labels affected. Mark Shumaker, a co-conspirator who pleaded guilty to the same crime in 2003, was sentenced to two years probation and a $100 fine.

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