Over the past five years, Operation in Our Sites, the U.S. initiative tackling copyright-infringing websites, has produced several arrests and the seizure of thousands of domains.
In October 2014, ICE Homeland Security Investigations took action against a pair of large U.S.-based websites. RockDizMusic.com and RockDizFile.com were both involved in large-scale distribution of unauthorized music, with the former presenting itself as a music database and the latter its file-hosting partner.
At the time ICE didn’t respond to requests for comment but it eventually transpired that the sites’ alleged operator, Rocky P. Ouprasith of Charlotte, N.C., had been arrested.
According to papers filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia Friday, Ouprasith operated both sites from around May 2011 through to his arrest last October.
During that period Ouprasith sourced pirated content online and uploaded it to RockDizFile, while encouraging others to do the same. Ouprasith curated the unauthorized content and then presented it for download on RockDizMusic, which in turn acted as a user-friendly front for RockDizFile. ‘Affiliates’ who uploaded music were paid based on the number of times their files were downloaded.
“To operate these websites, OUPRASITH rented and used computer servers in the United States and abroad. OUPRASITH hosted the website RockDizMusic.com on servers originally located in France and later in Canada,” court papers read.
“One of OUPRASITH’s linking websites, at RockDizFile.com, operated from a computer server in Illinois furnished by the webhosting provider, GigeNET. A second linking website used by…