7 August, 2004 Today’s legal news, law news, law firm announcements & research on LAWFUEL Four former employees of Fox Cable Networks (FCN) in West Los Angeles have agreed to plead guilty to criminal copyright infringement for uploading and downloading copyrighted works from a “warez” site that they had secretly maintained on FCN’s computer network during 2002 and 2003. Two other ex-employees were formally charged today with federal copyright infringement.
The six had previously been named in a criminal complaint filed on May 14 that charged them with conspiring to commit criminal copyright infringement for establishing and using the warez site that contained copyrighted movies and computer software.
A federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging Kevin Sarna, 36, of Lomita, formerly an infrastructure consultant at FCN, with a single count of felony copyright infringement. Sarna stands charged with reproducing and distributing multiple copyrighted works, including pirated movies and software programs, valued at more than $30,000. If convicted of this charge, Sarna faces a potential penalty of three years in prison.
The five other defendants were named in criminal informations that allege criminal copyright infringement violations with losses ranging from $1,000 to $8,000. These misdemeanor charges carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison. Four of the defendants have agreed to plead guilty; they are:
* Jonathan O’Brien, 30, formerly of Tustin, a former network engineer at FCN;
* Lisa Yamamoto, 45, of Los Angeles, a former message system and services administrator at FCN;
* Peter Mariano, 25, of Reseda, formerly a network administrator at FCN; and
* Garry Martin, 32, of Hawthorne, a former manager of desktop/user support at FCN .
* The sixth defendant is Christopher Willis, 31, of Los Angeles, who was formerly a network engineer at FCN.
* All six defendants are scheduled to be arraigned on the new charges on Monday in United States District Court in Los Angeles.
* This case began with an internal investigation by FCN, which in late 2003 found a “file transfer protocol” (FTP) server on its computer network that contained pirated material. FCN contacted the United States Secret Service at the Los Angeles Electronic Crimes Task Force for assistance, and special agents from the Secret Service and FBI investigated the case.
* An Indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
* CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Elena J. Duarte
* (213) 894-8611