Members of the group Apocalypse Crew pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the department said, and each faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Derek Borchardt, 21, of Charlotte, North Carolina; Matthew Howard, 24, of Longmont, Colorado; and Aaron Jones, 31, of Hillsboro, Oregon, each obtained digital "pre-release" copies of songs and albums before their U.S. commercial release, the government said. The music was then distributed globally through file-sharing networks.
The supply of pre-release music was often provided by music industry insiders, employees of music magazine publishers, or workers at compact disc manufacturing plants and retailers, the Justice Department said.
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