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NRI from Fremont arrested of Internet Piracy

Fremont, CA, July 04, 2005
Ashok Sharma

NRI, Chirayu Patel of Fremont, California was arrested last Wedensday along with other three men during an international crackdown on online piracy groups that stole tens of millions of dollars worth of copyrighted movies, music and software, federal authorities said Thursday. During the arrest, police seized his computers and burned DVD/CD discs. More troubling, he was told the police were working with the FBI to "round up people that were on a FBI run site." The story concludes, "ITS TIME FOR EVERYONE BIG TO GO HIDE."

Other men arrested were William Veyna, 34, of Chatsworth; Nate Lovell, 22, of Boulder, Colo.; and David Fish, 24, of Watertown, Conn. They face various charges including conspiracy, criminal copyright infringement and aiding and abetting. They were involved as part of "Operation Copycat," which itself is part of a larger international law enforcement Internet piracy crackdown known as "Operation Site Down."

"Operation Copycat" targeted "warez groups," the source of the majority of pirated movies, music and software distributed and downloaded on the Internet. Once a warez release group prepares a stolen work for distribution, the material is distributed in minutes to secure, top-level warez servers throughout the world. From there, within a matter of hours, the pirated works are distributed globally, filtering down to peer-to-peer and other public file sharing networks accessible to anyone with Internet access, according to federal authorities.

Patel runs a home business called Cell Tech Wireless, located behind Washington High School along a quiet residential street in Centerville, county records show.

A young woman who answered the door at the home refused to identify herself or comment about Patel. Neighbors along the 38000 block of Hastings Street described the family as charming and friendly. "They are dependable, good, hard-working people," said a neighbor who did not want to be identified.

The lists also contained more than 1,250 pirated computer games and more than 180 software titles allegedly pirated from companies including Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Microsoft and Symantec. Conservative estimates of the value of the works seized by authorities on Wednesday is more than $50 million, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Alberto Gonzales, U.S. Attorney General issued a statement saying that by taking down these networks, the Justice Department "is striking at the top of the copyright piracy supply chain — a distribution chain that provides the vast majority of the illegal digital content now available online."

NRI, Patel appeared Wednesday before Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia Trumbull of San Jose and was released on $100,000 bond. Fish appeared in Connecticut and Veyna in Los Angeles, and they were released on $100,000 bond and $50,000


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Chirayu Patel