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First successful BitTorrent prosecution

By Steve Malone

Posted on 30 Oct 2006 at 09:14

A 23-year-old man from Virginia is the first person to be successfully convicted of helping to run a BitTorrent P2P node. Grant Stanley has been sentenced to five months in jail and five months home detention for his part in managing the BitTorrent node known as Elite Torrents.

Stanley was also fined $3,000 and given three years probation.

According to the prosecution, Elite Torrents had more than 133,000 members and was estimated to have distributed around two million film files. Grant did not get paid for his part in administering the service but admitted he obtained a lot of copyright material in the process and therefore derived 'commercial advantage or private financial gain'.

Unfortunately for Stanley, he was not able to play a 'get out of jail free' card as has the founder of BitTorrent. Bram Cohen, has made a deal with the MPAA to develop the technology for legitimate purposes.

At the time of the deal Cohen declared 'BitTorrent discourages the use of its technology for distributing films without a licence to do so. As such, we are pleased to work with the film industry to remove unauthorised content from's search engine'.

US authorities have thanked the MPAA for its assistance in bringing Stanley to justice.

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