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NinjaVideo Execs Plead Guilty to Copyright Conspiracy

The Justice Department announced Tuesday it had gotten guilty pleas from Joshua Evans and Jeremy Andrew of NinjaVideo, a Web site Justice says allowed millions of users to illegally download digital copies of copyrighted TV shows and movies.

Evans, who Justice said was also identified in court documents as "Head God" of the "uploaders," allegedly located and uploaded infringing content to the site's servers and oversaw uploading by others. Andrew, who Justice said was referred to as "Ninja Heard of Security," was an administrator of the site and moderator of forums.

Evans pled guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of criminal copyright infringement, while Andrew pled guilty to a single count of conspiracy.

Evans said he received $26,660 related to the conspiracy, according to Justice, while Andrew said he got $5,250. Both have agreed to pay restitution in those amounts, but they could be forking up much more.

The pair was indicted Sept. 9 and are the third and fourth defendants to plead guilty, following Matthew David Howard Smith and Hana Amal Beshara.

Evans faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison on each count, as well as a $250,000 fine in addition to restitution and three years of supervised release following any prison term. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 27. Andrew faces a maximum of five years for his single count, as well as a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. He will be sentenced Feb. 3.

Justice is cracking down on IP theft through its Task Force on Intellectual Property and as part of a general approach to a "growing number of domestic and international intellectual property crimes."