The operator of the RockDizMusic.com music piracy website and cyberlocker has been sentenced to serve 36 months in prison in the US.
Rocky P. Ouprasith, 23, of Charlotte, North Carolina, was sentenced yesterday (November 17) by Chief U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith of the Eastern District of Virginia.
In addition to his prison term, Ouprasith was sentenced to serve two years of supervised release and was ordered to forfeit $50,851.05 and pay $48,288.62 in restitution.
On Aug. 21, 2015, Ouprasith pleaded guilty to one count of criminal copyright infringement.
According to court documents, the market value of Ouprasith’s illegally-pirated material was more than $6 million.
According to admissions made in connection with his guilty plea, between May 2011 and October 2014, Ouprasith operated RockDizMusic.com, a website originally hosted on servers in France and later in Canada, from which Internet users could find and download infringing digital copies of popular, copyrighted songs and albums.
Ouprasith admitted that he obtained digital copies of copyrighted songs and albums – including “pre-release” songs that were not yet commercially available to consumers – from online sources.
He also admitted that he encouraged and solicited others, referred to as “affiliates,” to upload digital copies of copyrighted songs and albums to websites, including RockDizFile.com, that were hosted on servers in Russia, France and the Netherlands.
Ouprasith further admitted that to encourage such activity, he agreed to pay the affiliates based on the number of downloads from his website.
According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), in 2013, RockDizFile.com was the second-largest online file-sharing website specializing in the reproduction and distribution of infringing copies of copyrighted music in the United States.
In October 2014, federal law enforcement authorities shut down RockDizMusic.com and RockDizFile.com, and law enforcement authorities in the Netherlands and France seized file-hosting servers utilized by Ouprasith.
Brad Buckles, EVP of Anti-Piracy at RIAA, said: “We congratulate the Department of Justice and Homeland Security Investigations and thank them for their diligence and hard work to bring to justice those who cause millions of dollars in damage to music creators.
“This sentence should send a message that operating a flagrantly illegal business that steals from others by engaging in criminal activity online has real consequences.”Music Business Worldwide