What at first appeared to be hoax turned into the first enforcement action against a US based BitTorrent tracker. On May 25, 2005, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) successfully shut down the largest US based BitTorrent tracker, EliteTorrents.com. The operation was known as "D-Elite.
TorrentFreak reported recently that EliteTorrents' other administrator, Scott McCausland, pleaded guilty on September 12, 2006, to “conspiracy to commit copyright infringement” and “criminal copyright infringement”. He is to be sentenced on December 16, 2006.
According to an October 17 press release from the Department of Justice, Grant T. Stanley will spend the next 5 months in prison, followed by an additional 5 months of home detention. Once released, Mr. Stanley will endure an additional 3 years of supervision, which will likely include limited access to the Internet or computers.
The least of Mr. Stanley's concerns will be a $3,000 fine.
This is the first criminal enforcement action against copyright infringement on a P2P network using BitTorrent technology,” said United States Attorney John Brownlee. “We hope this case sends the message that cyberspace will not provide a shield of anonymity for those who choose to break our copyright laws.