Operation FastLink, the two-year-old FBI undercover investigation targeting organized Internet
piracy groups known as warez dealers, claimed two more pirates Wednesday.
David Chen Pui, 27, of Fountain Valley, Calif., and David Lee Pruett, 35, of
Auburn, Wash., received prison terms of 18 and 8 months, respectively, for
their roles in the software piracy rings.
To date, Operation FastLink has resulted in the conviction of 31 defendants on felony copyright charges. The Department of Justice (DoJ) claims the probe has
resulted in seized works estimated at $50 million.
“Software piracy is no small matter. It robs the rightful owners of the
value of their property,” U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said in a
statement. “Software piracy is cyber theft, and the prison sentences given
in this case underscore the serious consequences of this crime.”
Pui and Pruett each plead guilty to a single felony count of conspiracy to
commit copyright infringement.
Pui was convicted for distributing pirated works from his own and other
Internet sites. Pruett was convicted for his involvement in the warez group “Legenda
Never Die,” or “LND.”
The sentencing of Pui and Pruett follow the recent eight-month sentencing of
Franklin Edward Littel and Shawn Laemmrich for their roles in the piracy
Operation FastLink initially resulted in 120 search warrants executed in 27 states
and 10 foreign countries.
The DoJ characterized the program as the largest
multi-national effort ever directed at intellectual property theft.
Warez groups act as first providers of copyrighted works to Internet release
groups. The release groups are the original sources for a majority of the
pirated works distributed and downloaded via the Internet.