NinjaVideo cofounder pleads guilty to copyright infringement.

If you have visited the site Ninjavideo.net site since June 2010, this is the image you see on their web site. In June 2010, the U.S. Government seized the site for copyright infringement. According to Ars Technica, the government stated the following in regards to the site:

While visitors to the website were permitted to download infringing content for free, they were also invited to make donations. A premium member could request specific content, and the site administrators would locate and add the content to to the site.

Despite knowing this, the government did not file charges against the site administrators until two weeks ago. Now the first individual has already pleaded guilty. Matthew David Howard Smith, a 23-year old from North Carolina, has plead guilty to criminal copyright infringement among other charges. Smith ran the site from 2008 until it was shut down.

The government says that Smith admitted to signing ad deals that grossed $500,000 during the time he ran the site. He also designed many of the site's features. One of the other accused administrators, Hana "Phara" Beshara, says that her group's infringement is a "gray area" of copyright law. Smith will be sentenced on December 16 and faces up to five years in prison. Beshara and two other individuals will be facing trial in February, unless they plead out.

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