March 23, 2018 |News Articles
Sharebeast Operator Sentenced For Massive Copyright Theft
WASHINGTON & ATLANTA – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia recently announced that Artur Sargsyan, the operator of a series of infringing websites including Sharebeast, AlbumJams and NewJams which were seized by the FBI in September 2015, was sentenced in the federal case against him for the massive theft of pre-release and popular sound recordings.
“We are deeply grateful to U.S. Attorney Bjay Pak and dedicated team of prosecutors from his office and the U.S. Department of Justice’s CCIPS Division. The prosecution is the culmination of an extraordinary investigative effort by agents of the FBI Atlanta Office working with other agents around the country and law enforcement abroad on this landmark case. We congratulate them on its successful resolution,” said Brad Buckles, EVP, Anti-Piracy, RIAA.
“Sharebeast and its related sites were no run-of-the-mill file-sharing network. These sites were responsible for the distribution of more than a billion illegal downloads of popular songs, including pre-release albums and tracks,” continued Buckles. “In fact, for three years Sharebeast was the largest U.S.- based illicit file-sharing site on the Internet — a relentless operation that specialized in ripping off artists and songwriters and all those who work hard to create music. “
“This sentence serves as a stark warning that should be fully recognized by others who deliberately engage in similar activity: there are real consequences if you disregard the law in this manner.”
According to the U.S Attorney’s Office which prosecuted the case, Sargsyan, 30, of Glendale, California, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr., to five years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution and forfeit profits. Sargsyan was convicted on these charges on September 1, 2017.
Sargsyan’s operation of the Sharebeast illicit file sharing network from 2012-2015 is responsible for the unauthorized reproduction and distribution of popular sound recordings valued at more than $6 billion. Sharebeast averaged 14-16 million visits per month at its height.