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United States v. Beshara et al. - Indictment

United States v. Beshara et al. - Indictment

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Published by Devlin Hartline

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Published by: Devlin Hartline on Sep 09, 2011
Copyright:Public Domain

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09/09/2011

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r
FILED
IN
OPENCOURT
>J
t^p
®@§0II
CLERK.Ua
DISTRICTCOURT
ALEXANDRIA.
VIRGINIA
IN
THE
UNITEDSTATES
DISTRICT
COURTFOR
TH
I
EASTERN
DISTRICTOFVIRGINIAAlexandriaDivisionUNITEDSTATESOF
AMERICAHANAAMALBESHARA
(a/k/a"Phara"and"PharaOhess"),
MATTHEW
DAVID
HOWARD
SMITH
(a/k/a"Dead
lne"),
JOSHUADAVIDEVANS
(a/k/a"Wadswerth"),
JEREMYLYNN
ANDREW
(a/k/a"Htrdfrk"),and
ZOIMERTZANIS
(a/k/a"Tik"),
Defendants
INDICTMENT
Criminal
No.
1:11
CR447
CounLL:18U.S.C.
§371-
ConspiracytoCommitCopyright
Infringement
Counts
2-5:
18U.S.C.§§
2,2319;
17U.S.C.
§506-
CriminalCopyrightInfringementByDistributingaCopyrighted
WorkonaComputerNetwork&AidingandAbetting
of
CriminalCopyrightInfringementCount6:18U.S.C.§§2,2319;17U.S.C.
§506-
CriminalCopyrightInfringementBy
Electronic
Means
&
AidingandAbetting
of
Criminal
CopyrightInfringement
SEPTEMBER2011TERM-atAlexandria,Virginia
THEGRANDJURYCHARGES
THAT:
I.
Introduction
At
all
timesrelevant
to
this
Indictment:
A.
The
NinjaVideoConspiracy
1.BeginninginapproximatelyFebruaryof2008andcontinuingtoJune30,2010,theInternetwebsiteNinjaVideo.netwasoperatedbyagroup
of
individuals
from
locations
aroundtheworld.NinjaVideo.nethadmillions
of
visitorsandprovidedthosevisitorswiththe
ability
to
illegally
download
infringing
copies
of
copyrightedmovies
(many
of
which
were
still
Case 1:11-cr-00447-AJT Document 1 Filed 09/08/11 Page 1 of 17 PageID# 1
 
playingintheaters,andsome
of
whichhadnotyetbeenreleasedinmovietheaters),aswellas
televisionprograms,inhigh-qualityformats.
2.
Visitors
tothe
NinjaVideo.net
websitecoulddownload
much
ofthe
infringing
copyrightedmaterialforfree;however,foraminimum"donation"
of
$25.00,visitorsobtaineda
"premium"
membership
and
gainedaccess
to
additional
copyrightedmaterial,
including
awider
range
of
movies,comicbooks,andcomputersoftware."Premium"membersalsoobtainedthe
righttorequestspecificcontentfromtheadministratorsoftheNinjaVideo.netwebsite.ThecontentavailableonNinjaVideo.netwasprovidedby"uploaders"wholocatedpiratedcopiesofcopyrightedworksandmadethe
files
availableontheInternetforunlawfulreproductionand
distributionbymembers
of
theconspiracy.
3.DuringtheoperationofNinjaVideo.net,members
of
theNinjaVideoconspiracy
receivedproceeds
of
morethan$500,000fromtheirillegalconduct,whileunlawfully
distributingmillions
of
dollarsininfringingcopies
of
copyrightedworks.
4.FromDecember2009untilJune2010,agentsfromHomelandSecurityInvestigations("HSI"),operating
from
theNationalIntellectualPropertyRightsCoordination
CenterinArlington,Virginia,withintheEasternDistrict
of
Virginia,utilizedNinjaVideo.netin
anundercover
capacity.
Duringthattime,theNinjaVideoconspiracymadepirated
movies
availabletoanundercover
agent.
Theagentsubsequentlydownloaded
forty-four
(44)of
these
moviestoacomputerlocatedinArlington,Virginia;all
of
themovieswereconfirmedtobe
infringing
copies
of
copyrighted
motion
pictures.Atthetimetheyweredistributedbythe
NinjaVideoconspiracy,one(1)
of
thepiratedcopyrightedmoviesdownloadedbytheundercover
agent
hadnotyetbeen
released
in
theaters
inthe
United
States;
forty
(40)ofthe
copyrightedmovies
had
been
released
in
U.S.
theaters
buthadnotyetbeenreleasedon
DVD;
and
three
(3)of
Case 1:11-cr-00447-AJT Document 1 Filed 09/08/11 Page 2 of 17 PageID# 2
 
the
movies
hadalreadybeenreleasedon
DVD.
ThesedistributionsbytheNinjaVideoconspiracyofinfringingcopiesofvaluablecopyrightedworkswerenotauthorizedbythe
copyrightholders
and
were
clearly
marked
as
products
from
known
Internet
piracy
groups.
B.
Defendants
5.HANAAMALBESHARA(a/k/a"Phara","PharaOhess"),aresident
of
New
Jersey,wasoneofthe
founders
ofNinjaVideoandservedastheprimaryday-to-day
administratoroftheNinjaVideo.net
website.
At
varioustimes
duringthe
course
ofthe
conspiracy,
BESHARA
supervised
thegroup's
forum
board(wheremembers
ofthe
conspiracy
discussedtheoperationsofNinjaVideo.net),supervisedthemoderatorswhopolicedthe
NinjaVideo.netwebsite,publicizedthewebsite,negotiatedcontractsandbusinessdealswith
thirdparties,
and
assistedNinjaVideo.net
visitors
andusers.BESHARAmade
regular
payments
forcomputerserversutilizedbyNinjaVideo.net,andalsodistributedproceedstosomeofherco
conspirators.
6.
MATTHEWDAVIDHOWARDSMITH
(a/k/a"Deadlne"),aresidentofNorth
Carolina,
was
another
founder
of
NinjaVideo
and
administrator
ofthe
NinjaVideo.net
website.
SMITH
paidforand
registered
many
Internet
domain
names
forthebenefitofthe
NinjaVideoconspiracy,
including
most
notablyNinjaVideo.net.
SMITH
located
(and,
wherenecessary,
paid
for)
servers
tobe
used
aspartof
the
conspiracy.
SMITH
primarily
designed
many
of
the
operationalelements
of
the
website,
includingsophisticated
tools
and
scripts
thatenabled
NinjaVideo.net
visitors
to
view
and
download
the
website's
high-quality
copyrightedcontent
(in
particular,the"NinjaVideo
Helper
applet").
SMITH
contactedInternetadvertising
entities
and
entered
into
agreementswhereinthose
entities
wouldplace
advertisements
on
the
NinjaVideo.netwebsite.
SMITH
receivedthis
advertising
revenue,
as
well
as
"donations"
from
NinjaVideo.net
Case 1:11-cr-00447-AJT Document 1 Filed 09/08/11 Page 3 of 17 PageID# 3

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