Geek magazine hacker daily blog

3 years, 5 months ago
The person who impaired a little blood to musical business. Part 2

It is the second (completing) part of transfer about illegal business on stealing and replication of "pre-release" audio recordings (and not only them) told through a prism of history of one of the most "active" thieves of music in the USA of the end the 90th – the beginning of the 2000th.

[1st part]

The culture of Scene accurately differentiated online file exchange and trade. Servers of community is a pot of gold for trade, but their use for physical record on carriers for the purpose of sale was considered as ethics violation. Worse than that, it drew attention of the authorities. Kali reminded that any who will be suspected of sale of material from servers will be immediately expelled from community. For most of participants of group, it meant loss of big money. They spent hundreds of dollars a year for compact disks, for the maintenance of hundreds of servers and the Internet connection, and in exchange received only content.

Glover was an exception, he knew that it will not be excluded from anywhere. As Universal let out more and more albums of rappers, it was necessary to Kali.

Napster held on few years in the original form. At popularity peak service contained more than 70 million accounts, and people exchanged more than 2 billion MP3 files a month. Musical piracy for generation of a millennium became something like experiments with drugs for youth of the 80th – the generation violated social norms and the law, not strongly thinking of effects. At the end of 1999 the group of lobbyists of the American association of a sound recording which is engaged in musical trade filed a lawsuit against Napster, having declared that the company encourages copyright infringement in unprecedented scales. Napster lost court, submitted the appeal and lost repeatedly. In July, 2001 under the resolution the vessels Napster had to stop file exchange, protected by copyright therefore stopped the activity.

This victory did not lead to large-scale changes. The former users of Napster considered file exchange on the Internet as the integral privilege and instead of returning to musical shops, captivated Napster clones, such as Kazaa and Limewire. By 2003 earnings of the musical industry dropped by 50% in comparison with the beginning of "zero". Losses continued to grow on continuation of the next decade.

The American association of a sound recording repeatedly brought up a question of protection of copyright, but civil suits against P2P-services lasted for years, constantly passing through appeals therefore soon attempts to condemn the people exchanging files developed into public accident. The congress refused to help some musical labels. The representative of Universal Harvey Geller (Harvey Geller) spent several years, falling asleep legislators with petitions with requests to control compliance with law about protection of owners – fruitlessly. "Politicians indulge the voters, – Geller says, – and a large number of voters stole music, but did not buy it".

Leakages of media were perceived differently. Nobody wanted to protect in court of smugglers therefore all of them adhered to the code and were silent. Scene groups were a source practically of all new releases available in P2P-networks, but most of users of file hosting services did not even guess their existence. It was impossible to submit the civil suit against such communities – unlike Kazaa, RNS had no address to which it would be possible to send the summons. Here only criminal prosecution could work.

The person who impaired a little blood to musical business. Part 2
"You want to browse the list of available types of gasoline? Or you know that it is necessary for you?"

In January, 2003 Glover "merged" Kali an official debut of 50 cent "Get Rich or Die Tryin". He was fated to become the most sold album of year in the States. The album 50 cent was followed by albums Jay Z, G Unit, Mary Jay Blige, Big Tymers and Ludacris, and also a debut album of Kanye West "The College Dropout". After Glover was frightened that the trace can lead to it, time for which there were leaks became much more specific. Glover began to fill in records in the Internet in two weeks prior to official release, so it was impossible to tell from what factory there was a leak, but also did not harm reputation of RNS.

Influence of group grew during the period all of the amplifying control from the law. In April, 2004 FBI and foreign agencies organized joint raids in 11 countries, having arrested more than 100 pirates. The anti-piracy department of the American association of a sound recording was complete investigators who hung up in chats of Scene and learned their language. They tried to be implemented into Scene and to trace the stolen materials on the Internet. The consequence brought all the time to one, all amplifying, the RNS grouping. Investigators shared the finds with FBI.

Journalists also turned at Scene border. In December, 2004 there was Bill Verde's (Bill Werde) article in the Rolling Stone log which opened existence of Scene to public. The signature under the photo in article said: "For the four-day period one group stole disks of such contractors as U2, Eminem and Destiny’s Child". Article mentioned a source close to Eminem which opened moods in command: "The command of the rapper believes that the album "Encore" was stolen when got to distributors, those who brings albums from factories to network shops, such as Wal-Mart".

The guess was incorrect. CD were stolen not by distributors – it was made by Glover. Three days later he stole an album U2 "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" (it did not "merge" Destiny's Child's "Destiny Fulfilled"). Having faced the growing interest in grouping, Kali decided to clean everything that could compromise them from info files. Since that moment they contained only date of loading of an album in a network, and information on when it is expected to see in shops.

Kali ordered to transfer RNS chat channel from public IRC servers on the private computer in Hawaii and demanded from members of society to communicate only there as the channel was ciphered. He also prohibited to use AOL Instant Messenger and once again reminded of prohibition on a data recording on physical media. But Glover refused to submit to the rules Scene. It continued to use IM when considered it necessary and stored a collection of the stolen CDs in a bag in a cabinet. He was not interested in music any more and did not aim to become the favourite of any Internet group. Everything that it was necessary for it - it is servers. The it could be connected to the bigger number of servers, the could receive and sell more movies.

In successful week Glover could sell alone three hundred disks and make 1,5 thousand dollars cash. Now it began to expand business. At the beginning of every week it left four hundred disks in three hairdressing salons in Shelby, and at the end returned to take away the share of profit – about 6 hundred dollars from each point. His best seller sold piracy copies of movies more often, than cut hair. Seeing how many Glover earns, other bootleggers tried to compete with it, but it all the same remained the best. "I had an access to such amount of materials, – he tells, – that none of them could bypass me".

Many of the best clients of Glover worked with him at factory. Glover did to those buyers to whom he trusted the best sentences. Instead of paying 5 dollars for the movie, it was possible to purchase a monthly subscription for 20 dollars and to receive all movies online. Glover started the own server that having once purchased the account, it was possible to download everything that will want. On the server "fresh" DVD, copies of games, music, software and still many other things were stored. At that time video on demand remained technology of the future, but if you knew Glover, for you this future already came – he started the personal Netflix in own house.

Glover began to make unusual purchases. It purchased video game consoles and gifts for friends and a family. He purchased the new off-road ATV, and then and the second. He purchased second-hand Lincoln Navigator and put on it xenon lamps, an air inlet and expensive stereosystem. For many years rappers very much liked rims – "spinner" – metal caps which rotated irrespective of a wheel, even when the car stopped. Trying to be selected somehow, Glover bought "floater" – the weighted caps which, on the contrary, remained motionless when the wheel rotated.

In 2005 RNS caught and loaded into a network four of five albums of best-sellers in the United States. The first and second places were taken Marayey Cary from "The Emancipation of Mimi" and 50 cent with "The Massacre" which were got by Glover. RNS plums quickly got on file hosting services, and within 48 hours of the copy scattered on ipod'am of the whole world.

By the end of 2006 the quantity of disks which were got by Glover reached two thousand. He was not afraid to be caught any more. Universal sold the factories on production of compact disks, and observed crash of physical media carriers from safe distance. Though in the contract it was stated that the factory will continue to make musical disks for Universal, new owners decided that it is useless expenditure of means and ceased to pay money for the maintenance of the enterprise. The musicians who signed contracts with Universal complained of permanent information leakages as the chain of deliveries of factory was unreliable more than ever.

Though RNS still enjoyed popularity, many of its participants began to be tired of similar activity. When the group began the work in 1996, most of its participants were teenagers. Now their age approached thirty years, and romanticism of such life grew dim. They outgrew the work on radio station in college or more highly paid places, than journalism found, having lost thereby access to fresh albums.

Listening of hundreds of new releases made them cynics. Musicians it is universal used Auto-Tune to correct the voice, all composers copied themselves, and the same producers worked on each track. Glover of the beginnings in a different way treats a rap. Tony Dokeri as if was born again and was not engaged in theft of musical albums several years. Even Kali looked so as if it bored it.

The person who impaired a little blood to musical business. Part 2
"I found work"

Glover thought of withdrawal from Scene. It came to this business when he was slightly more than 20 years old – now he was 32 years old. It carried the same hairstyle within ten years, put on in the same t-shirts with prints and blue jeans, but became other person. He does not remember why it was so attracted by sports motorcycles or why it was so important to purchase the gun. Now he considered the tattoo with Reaper Man incredibly silly.

Glover's earnings from sales of DVD began to decrease. Releases which got in Scene were available to public in several seconds after their emergence on the server now, and even technically poorly grounded people could understand how to download them. For few years Glover's earnings on a butlegerstvo fell to several hundred dollars a week.

Glover shared the thoughts and feelings with Kali. "We are engaged in it very long time, – Glover Kali by phone told, – and we were never caught. Perhaps, time to stop came?" To Glover's surprise, Kali agreed. Though the situation with protection at factory continued to worsen, risk for those who wanted to take out a disk from factory, increased. They were caught by the foreign services, FBI and anti-piracy groups created by the American association of a sound recording along with multiple commands of investigators. Kali understood, law enforcement agencies are how far capable to come. Some of the caught pirates in 2004 were his friends whom he visited in federal prison.

In January, 2007 one of the RNS servers mysteriously disappeared. The server which was installed in Hungary ceased to answer, as well as the company which owned it. Kali dismissed group. The album Fall Out Boy "Infinity on High" provided by Glover was the last release of RNS which occurred on January 19, 2007.

Tens of former members of grouping captivated a chat room to show the respect. Dokeri began to change the nickname for others to pay a tribute to the former members of team. "Though now we also disperse, I will always remember you, – wrote Kali. – I do not know how you are children, but I consider that we have no need to push further luck". Soon after that the RNS channel was closed forever.

Within several months Glover continued to provide CD from factory to the leader of the OSC grouping famous as RickOne. Though it was not profitable to Glover the same as before, his thirst to free media did not die away. "For me it was paradise – to play Madden in two months prior to emergence of game in shops", – Glover told me.

Kali was also not going to be given. After closing of RNS it continued to collect the stolen albums, indicating them attributes from the senseless letters nonplusing even veterans of Scene. In the summer of 2007 it phoned to Glover and reported that there are two more albums which they are simply obliged to catch. It were new albums 50 cent and Kanye West leaving in one day. Rappers decided to compete with each other in the one who will be able to sell more copies. The event was sign so got on a cover of the Rolling Stone log. Told 50 cent that if he does not win, then will leave musical business.

Kali knew how nobody else that albums of both actors were made and moved ahead Universal. What looked as oldskulny hip-hop fight, actually was "zamanukhy" to increase sales. Kali was going to interfere. RNS "merged" all albums of these two contractors therefore theft of "Curtis" of 50 cent’a and Kanye's "Graduation" was a peculiar tribute of tradition.

The official release was planned for September 11, 2007, but at factory albums were written and packed in the middle of August. Glover caught them by means of the thieves' network and listened. The cover of "Graduation" was drawn by Takashi Murakami, and the album quite safely combined high art, the priest and a rap which sounding changed as strongly as the krautrok differs from the French house. "Curtis" was less experimental, having put emphasis on the shock club music supported with such hits as "I Get Money" and "Ayo Technology".

Glover liked both albums, but he was in very unusual position: it had an opportunity to affect the result of fight. If it fills in in the Graduation network and will hold "Curtis", Kanye can sell a smaller record count. But if it merges "Curtis", then, perhaps, 50 cent it is necessary to leave a scene.

Glover decided that he will give one album Kali, and another – RickOne. He offered the second Kanye's album. On August 30, 2007 "Graduation" got on the Scene servers, and all glory left OSC. In several hours the angry Kali called Glover, and the last told that he does not know how so it turned out as did not see an album at factory, but nevertheless gave it "Curtis". On September 4, 2007 Kali started it on Scene.

Universal let out albums officially on Tuesday September 11. Despite leaks, both not bad were on sale. "Curtis" was sold out in circulation in 700 000 copies in one week. "Graduation" was sold out in almost million circulation. Kanye won competition in spite of the fact that Glover decided to lay out its album in a network the first. It just started controlled experiment, with the purpose to look how thefts of albums influence their sales. Specifically in this case left so that the album which got a network the first was on sale better. Glover liked Kanye's album, and it was happy with result, considering that the best got the first place. "Graduation" hooked on it. And here 50 cent did not leave a scene.

On Wednesday September 12 Glover came to work at 7 in the evening. It had a double change which lasted all night long. It stopped working at 7 in the morning and was going to leave home as the colleague pulled it aside and whispered: "There someone ransacks around your truck".

In dawn beams Glover saw on the parking of three men. Approaching the car, it extended a signaling charm from a pocket. Men looked at it, but did not move a little. Glover pressed the button, the machine peeped, and men pulled out guns, having ordered it to raise hands up.

As it appeared, they were assistants to the sheriff Cleveland. FBI searched Glover's house, and sent them to bring the owner.

In front of Glover's house half-ten FBI agents in bullet-proof vests crowded. The door to the house was beaten out, and agents took out the equipment for the sum of several thousand dollars purchased for many years. As it appeared, the special agent Peter Wu already waited for him inside.

The person who impaired a little blood to musical business. Part 2
"You look as the tourist"

Wu is the veteran of bureau on investigation of computer crimes, spent several years for search of a source of information leakages, mutilating the musical industry. Its attempts, at last, brought to the imperceptible one-storey house in the suburb of Northern Carolina. Wu was provided, and then began to ask Glover questions. Special interest caused Kali in the employee of FBI, and Glover told it about the guesses which came to its mind for several years. But he did not tell a real name of Kali because he did not know it though they often called up.

Next day Kali called Glover. Its voice shivered, he was obviously nervous.

"It I, – Kali told, – listen, I think, that federals contacted us".

Wu expected receipt of such call and told Glover to work so as if nothing occurs. Glover had a choice. It could obey and help with searches of Kali, and could warn him.

"You were late, – Glover told. – They took me yesterday. Tie".

"I understood you, – Kali answered. Then added: "I appreciate it", – and hung up.

The next several months of FBI carried out raids during which RickOne from OSC and some more members of RNS were caught. They also found the person who as they considered, could be Kali – the person who stole ten million dollars from the musical industry and turned RSA into the most sophisticated piracy organization in the history. The person was called Adil Kassim (Adil R. Cassim) – the twenty-nine-year-old Indian, the engineer who smoked a grass listened to a rap and lived in the suburb of Los Angeles with the mother.

On September 9, 2009 Glover was brought to federal court in Alexandria, the State of Virginia where imputed it a serious criminal offense in copyright infringement. On that listening Glover saw Adil Qassim for the first time. Kassim was clean-shaven and shortly cut. It was low growth with a noticeable stomach and sat, dressed in a black suit.

One month later Glover admitted the guilt. The solution was allowed to be recognized hardly, but he considered that its chances of a justification were low. In exchange for mitigation of punishment he agreed to give evidences against Qassim. FBI needed the help, the agency carefully searched Qassim's house, and judicial experts checked its notebook, but could not find any pre-release music. Kassim was not recognized that he is part of RNS though two proofs indicated the return. The burned compact disk found in a bathroom containing the copy of the curriculum vitae of Qassim in which "Properties" the name of the author of the document in Word appeared was one of them: Kali. The mobile phone of Qassim, with Glover phone number was the second proof. Contact was written as "D" (Dee).

The trial of Qassim began in March, 2010 and proceeded five days. Glover gave evidences whose example was followed by several other members of RNS. Also gave evidences several FBI agents and technical experts. For the last ten years, the federal government condemned hundreds of participants of Scene. But on March 19, 2010, after short meeting, jurors pronounced to Qassim a sentence – is innocent.

After court Glover began to regret for the solution to give evidences and to admit guilt. He thought that by means of the good lawyer he could be acquitted too. He was not sure what damage was caused by thefts of musical albums of the musical industry, and at that time he did not regard the actions as a crime.

"Look at 50 cent, – he says. – He still lives in Mike Tyson's house. And nobody in the world can do much harm to it. Perhaps, we also took away something from them, but at the same time advertized. – Here he made a pause, then continued. – But, perhaps, they lost more, than purchased". Eventually, Glover stayed three months in prison (Tony Dokeri also recognized by the participant of the secret organization violating copyright, having sentenced prisons to those months. Against Simon Tye never brought any charges).

Lawyers of the Ministry of Justice of the USA in directives for determination of a measure of punishment wrote: "RNS was the largest and most known group in the history which is engaged in Internet piracy". In 11 years of RNS stole more than 20 000 albums. The most part of time of functioning of grouping one participant was its most valuable element – hardly thirty who has no albums in which leakages Glover was not involved can find the person more young.

That day when Glover's house underwent a search, FBI agents confiscated all computers, drives, hard drives and PlayStation. They took couple of pictures of albums which it collected several years, but left a bag complete of compact disks – it was useless, even as the proof.

This article is a translation of the original post at geektimes.ru/post/251348/
If you have any questions regarding the material covered in the article above, please, contact the original author of the post.
If you have any complaints about this article or you want this article to be deleted, please, drop an email here: sysmagazine.com@gmail.com.

We believe that the knowledge, which is available at the most popular Russian IT blog geektimes.ru, should be accessed by everyone, even though it is poorly translated.
Shared knowledge makes the world better.
Best wishes.