Criminal Copyright Infringement – U.S. v. Cassim, et al. – Part 2

Government Press Release and Initial Court Appearance for Internet case involving conspiracy to infringe copyright.

The charge was conspiracy to commit copyright infringement.  Attorney Domingo J. Rivera represented the “lead” Defendant (the Government’s allegation). To our knowledge, this is the only “Not Guilty” jury verdict obtained for this type of case in Federal Court.  The majority of charges culminate in guilty pleas.

Just as customary in Federal Internet related criminal cases, after obtaining the indictment, the Government issued its press release.

The headline read: FOUR MEMBERS OF ALLEGED INTERNET MUSIC PIRACY GROUP CHARGED
WITH COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT CONSPIRACY

The body of the press release continued on…
WASHINGTON — Four individuals were indicted today by a federal grand jury in the
Eastern District of Virginia with conspiracy to commit copyright infringement for allegedly obtaining
and illegally releasing copyrighted music, announced Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal
Division Lanny A. Breuer and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Dana J. Boente.

Adil R. Cassim, 29, of Granada Hills, Calif.; Bennie Glover, 35, of Shelby, N.C.; Matthew D.
Chow, 28, of Missouri City, Texas; and Edward L. Mohan, II, 46, of Baltimore, were charged in the
one-count indictment with being high-level members of the music piracy group known as “Rabid
Neurosis” or “RNS”, which operated from at least 1999 to 2007.  According to the indictment, the
defendants, led by Cassim for a period of time, allegedly conspired to illegally upload to RNS
thousands of copyright protected music files, which were often subsequently reproduced and
distributed hundreds of thousands of times.

According to the indictment, RNS was a “first-provider” or “release group” for pirated
music and other content to the Internet.  Once a group obtains and prepares infringing digital copies
of copyrighted works, the copies can then be distributed in a matter of hours to secure computer
servers throughout the world.  According to the indictment, RNS members were granted access to
massive libraries of pirated music, video games, software and movies by gaining a reputation for
providing previously unavailable pirated materials.  The indictment alleges that the supply of pre-
release music was often provided by music industry insiders, such as employees of compact disc
(CD) manufacturing plants, radio stations and retailers, who typically receive advance copies of
music prior to its commercial release.

The indictment also alleges that members of RNS, including Glover, illegally procured some
of the music the group illegally released before its commercial release date from a CD manufacturing
plant in North Carolina.   Other members of RNS, including Mohan and Chow, allegedly purchased
CDs from retail stores shortly after their commercial release and posted them to the Internet before
other piracy groups were able to do so.

If convicted, defendants face a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and
three years of supervised release, as well as possible orders of restitution.

And the press release continued on….Govertnment Press Release

Then came the initial appearance, the date for arguments on Motions was set, and a jury trial was schedule in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Initial Scheduling Order