Warez ringleader gets over four years in prison

After pleading guilty in a US federal court earlier this year, 44-year-old Hew Griffiths, the head of underground piracy group "DrinkOrDie", was sentenced to 51 months in jail last week on one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. Griffiths has already spent almost three years at a detention center in Australia before his extradition to the US in February. The judge who sentenced him apparently took this into account when determining how much time Griffiths will serve in the US and said that Griffiths will only have to serve another 15 months in jail.

DrinkOrDie was founded in Russia in 1993 and is now estimated to have been responsible for copying and distributing more than $50 million of copyrighted content based on the retail value of the copies distributed by the group. The group was dismantled in 2001 after being subject to 70 raids in the US, UK, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Australia.

News source: Ars Technica

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9 Comments

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Four years seems reasonable considering his crimes. Stealing money from rich corporations without profit should hold higher consequences. Rape or murder has no opinioned material (tangible or otherwise) items of importance. Remember next time make a profit so you can pay for better lawyers.

SimplyPotatoes said,
Four years seems reasonable considering his crimes. Stealing money from rich corporations without profit should hold higher consequences. Rape or murder has no opinioned material (tangible or otherwise) items of importance. Remember next time make a profit so you can pay for better lawyers.

:D

I am surprised they managed to come up with in accounting temrs a number of $50million. I still think 4 years or whatever the sentence is too long. I mean he didn't profit from it and he didn't rape or murder anyone. The crime is the crime, of course but that is an excessive sentence.

I don't think he should go to prison- at all. At least, not a standard US prison. First off, mixing "white collar" criminals with inmates guilty of murder and rape is just illogical. Also, his presence in a standard US prison, and others like him, will further weaken the DOC's ability to provide support to prisoners who really need it- by absorbing resources that are better suited to more intensive inmates.

Heh, the story is more than halfway of being called "Warez ringleader served over four years in prison" though. ;)

I was surprised to see a DOD story this late, but the transfer explains it.