May 14, 2004 – LAWFUEL – Six former employees and consultants of Fox Cable Networks (FCN) in West Los Angeles were charged with conspiring to commit criminal copyright infringement for establishing and using a “warez” site on FCN’s computer network that contained copyrighted movies and computer software.
A criminal complaint filed in federal court in Los Angeles accused the six of using computer equipment at FCN to upload, store and allow the distribution of pirated copies of software, games and commercial films.
The six charged today are:
* Kevin Sarna, 36, of Lomita, formerly an infrastructure consultant at FCN;
* Jonathan O’Brien, 30, formerly of Tustin, a former network engineer at FCN;
* Christopher Willis, 31, of Los Angeles, formerly a 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 .
* All six are charged with one count of conspiracy count. The defendants will be summoned to appear in United States District Court in Los Angeles in the coming weeks.
* 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.
* According to the criminal complaint, Sarna, O’Brien and Willis were the alleged leaders of a “warez” group, which is an organization that duplicates copyrighted software, including pirated computer software, console games and theatrical movies. Sarna, O’Brien and Willis allegedly operated and maintained the FTP server, which contained illegally duplicated material, such as the movies “Daddy Day Care,” “Blind Date,” “The Matrix Reloaded,” and “X2: X-Men United.” The FTP server allowed others to download the pirated material via the Internet.
* Yamamoto, Mariano, and Martin allegedly downloaded large amounts of data from the warez server while they worked at FCN. This data included movies such as “Windtalkers,””Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius,” and “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.”
* The charge of conspiracy carries a maximum possible penalty of five years in federal prison.
* A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
* This case is the result of an investigation by the United States Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which received the assistance of Fox Cable Networks.