2005 was a hell of a year for peers across the globe.
William Trowbridge and Michael Chicoine from the US were convicted for infringing copyright by sharing music, movies and software across Direct Connect. Pharvin Dhaliwal, also from the US, was fined and incarcerated for possession of unauthorized copies of intellectual property and sharing them online. Hong Kong’s Chan Nai-ming went down for uploading three (lousy) films on BitTorrent. A Taipei Court handed out prison sentences to three executives behind Kuro, a Taiwanese P2P network. In the same year, Elite Torrents was shut down by federal agents, who also filed charges against administrator Grant Stanley. Grokster was likewise shut down after the US Supreme Court held in the landmark case of MGM vs. Grokster that Grokster and Streamcast could be sued for inducing copyright infringement. In addition, 32 individuals have been convicted for their participation in online “warez” groups, undoubtedly the most common source of files that eventually enter the P2P networks.
There have been more convictions ever since. However, P2P networks are still teeming with users eager to download the latest songs, videos and computer programs— users who obviously do not realize that file sharing may also be file stealing.
I wouldn’t know if theft is now responsible for sending the most bodies to prison. But in the internet age, the seventh commandment is most likely the one that is sending the most souls to eternal damnation.
…That and the 101th commandment: Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s WIFI.