Feds Crack ‘Rabid Neurosis’ Pre-Release Piracy Group
The indictment (.pdf) brings to six the number of alleged Rabid Neurosis defendants ensnared in what the authorities are calling a “multi-year federal investigation of organized piracy groups responsible for the illegal distribution of significant amounts of copyrighted movies, software, games and music through the internet.”
Rabid Neurosis, also known as RNS, is said to have uploaded thousands of copyrighted music files, many pre-release, according to the charges in the Eastern District of Virginia. In their uploads, the warez group, founded in 1996, often used the tagline “Rabid Neurosis — Spread the Epidemic.”
The authorities, in a statement, said “RNS members were granted access to massive libraries of pirated music, video games, software and movies by gaining a reputation for providing previously unavailable pirated materials. The indictment alleges the supply of pre-release music was often provided by music-industry insiders, such as employees of compact disc (CD) manufacturing plants, radio stations and retailers, who typically receive advance copies of music prior to its commercial release.”
According to a Wikipedia entry, the group apparently disbanded in early 2007. The entry said that its first upload was Metallica’s “Ride the Lightning.”
The indictment said RNS would also lawfully purchase CDs immediately after they were released, posting them online ahead of rival groups — thus earning a lofty reputation that gave it access to pre-release material from industry insiders.
Those charged include alleged ringleader Adil R. Cassim, 29, of Granada Hills, California; Bennie Glover, 35, of Shelby, North Carolina; Matthew D. Chow, 28, of Missouri City, Texas and Edward L. Mohan II, 46, of Baltimore. Each face a maximum five-year sentence and $250,000 fine.
Within the last month, the investigation recently ensnared Patrick L. Saunders, 30, of Brooklyn, New York and James A. Dockery, 39, of Mooresboro, North Carolina.
Saunders has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and scheduled for sentencing in December.