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North Carolina Man Admits Role In Software Piracy Conspiracy

William Parrott pleads guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement
Nora R. Dannehy, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that WILLIAM PARROTT, also known as "niterangr," 39, of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, pleaded guilty today before Senior United States District Judge Ellen Bree Burns in New Haven to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement.

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, PARROTT and others participated in the "warez scene," which is an underground online community consisting of individuals and organized groups who use the Internet to engage in the large-scale, illegal distribution of copyrighted software. In the warez scene, certain participants (known as "suppliers") are able to obtain access to copyrighted software, video games, DVD movies, and MP3 music files, often before those titles are even available to the general public. Other participants, known as "crackers," then use their technical skills to circumvent or "crack" the digital copyright protections. Others, known as "couriers," then distribute the pirated software to various file storage sites ("FTP sites") on the Internet for others to access, reproduce, and further distribute. The leading warez groups competed with one another to attain the reputation as the fastest, highest quality providers of pirated materials.

In approximately 2001, PARROTT, with the assistance of a co-conspirator, began operating a warez server known as "Nite Ranger Hideout" (NRH). From approximately November 2002 through April 2003, PARROTT uploaded approximately 1477 files and downloaded approximately 13,109 files from the NRH site.

Judge Burns has scheduled sentencing for May 29, 2009, at which time PARROTT faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edward Chang of the District of Connecticut and Clement J. McGovern from the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the Department of Justice.

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