Friday, April 4, 2008

New York Man Admits Involvement In Online Piracy Ring

Kevin J. O'Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that DANIEL JAEGER, also known as "Microeguy," 25, of Wappinger, New York, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before United States Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. This matter stems from a multinational software piracy investigation known as "Operation Higher Education."

In pleading guilty, JAEGER admitted that, for more than two years, he was a participant in the "warez scene," an underground online community consisting of individuals and organized groups who engage in the large scale reproduction, modification and distribution of copyrighted software over the internet.

Specifically, shortly after joining the warez scene in the fall of 2001, JAEGER built, connected to the Internet, and maintained an FTP warez server known as "DataStream" ( "DS" ), which stored and distributed pirated software and other digital media. Over the course of his participation in the conspiracy, JAEGER was aware that his co-conspirators uploaded pirated copyrighted works to DS, and another FTP warez site identified as Arakis ( "AKS" ), with the knowledge and intent that, through these sites, those copyrighted works would be further accessed, reproduced, and distributed by additional co-conspirators.

As of September 5, 2003, the DS warez site alone contained approximately 1,000 titles of pirated software and other digital media. In addition to the activities set forth above, JAEGER also downloaded many pirated copies of copyrighted works from the DS site and other warez sites. A substantial number of these software titles were computer and video games.

JAEGER is scheduled to be sentenced on June 16, 2008, by Chief United States District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford, at which time JAEGER faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.

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