Administrator for EliteTorrents found guilty

The federal government has nailed its first jury trial conviction against a peer-to-peer pirate, the Justice Dept. announced Friday.

Daniel Dove, 26, was “an administrator for EliteTorrents.org, an Internet piracy site that, until May 25, 2005, was a source of infringing copyrighted works, specifically pre-release movies,” the DOJ said. “Elite Torrents used BitTorrent peer-to-peer technology to distribute pirated works to thousands of members around the world.”

A federal jury in Big Stone Gap, Va., convicted Dove. He could face up to 10 years in prison.

According to prosecutors, Dove was “an administrator of a small group of Elite Torrents members known as ‘Uploaders,’ who were responsible for supplying pirated content to the group. The evidence showed that Dove recruited members who had very high-speed Internet connections, usually at least 50 times faster than a typical high-speed residential Internet connection, to become Uploaders.”

The case resulted from the FBI’s Operation D-Elite, a national effort focused on illegal online copying and distributing protected content specifically via BitTorrent file distribution technology. Bootlegged content includes movies, music, software and videogames.

“The Motion Picture Assn. of America provided substantial assistance to the D-Elite investigation,” DOJ said. FBI field offices in San Diego and Richmond, Va., led the investigation.

Dove will be sentenced on Sept. 9.

This conviction “sends a clear message that when presented with clear-cut evidence, jurors have little tolerance for the willful, deliberate, and widespread distribution of protected content,” said MPAA topper Dan Glickman in a statement.

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