Major Music Piracy Ring Broken Up
September 10, 2009
Federal authorities have broken up a major online music piracy ring, which reportedly worked with sources inside the music industry to acquire music early. Adil R. Cassim was charged as the leader of the group, known as "Rabid Neurosis" (or RNS for short). According to multiple reports, the authorities said that RNS had gained a reputation online for having access to releases far ahead of release dates and access to thousands of songs on its servers. However, Wired reports that the group had disbanded in 2007.
The group used music industry connections, including radio station employees and retailers, to acquire music early. An employee at a North Carolina CD production plant, Bennie Glover, is accused to providing the group with music months in advance to leak online. According to The Washington Examiner, Glover's production plant specifically supplies Universal Music Group with CDs.
The prosecutors said that other members of the group were "Tuesday Rippers," who would buy an album on release day and hurry to rip the album and leak it illegally online that day. In addition to Cassim and Glover, Matthew Chow and Edward Mohan were also charged as members of the group. The four members of Rabid Neurosis publicly charged yesterday in Virginia could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
Two other men were previously charged with involvement in the piracy ring: Patrick L. Saunders and James A. Dockery.
According to a statement from the U.S. Department Of Justice, "the case is part of a multi-year federal investigation of organized piracy groups responsible for the illegal distribution of significant amounts of copyrighted movies, software, games and music through the Internet. The investigation of music piracy groups was led by agents from the FBI's Washington Field Office-Northern Virginia Resident Agency."