The United States Department of Justice announced today that Daniel Dove, a former administrator for Elite Torrents, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison, after which Dove will serve three years of supervised release (probation), and must pay a $20,000 fine. It's been almost two years since the first conviction against a former Elite Torrents admin, and the punishment in that case looks positively inviting by comparison; Grant Stanley, then 26, was sentenced to five months of jail, five months of house arrest, three years of probation, and a $200 assessment. Quick, kids, which one would you pick?
Dove appears to have received a harsher sentence than Stanley due to the nature of his relationship with Elite Torrents. While Grant Stanley was an administrator for the group, and clearly benefited from years of free movies and music, Dove was directly involved in operations that kept the torrent network running. According to the prosecution, Dove both recruited members with extremely high upload connections and ran a high-speed server for the purpose of distributing pirated content out to the members of this group. Dove's activities, in other words, were crucial to the continued existence of Elite Torrents, and that probably merited a bit of special punishment in the government's eyes.
Prosecutors allege that Elite Torrents had some 125,000 members at its height, and shared approximately 700 movies which were collectively downloaded 1.1 million times. It's too bad there's no system for distributing jail time, probation, and fines—if Dove could tap that user base of 125,000 people, he'd end up serving around 6.3 minutes of jail time, 12.6 minutes of probation, and paying just 16¢ of that $20,000 fine.Posted on