RockDizFile owner pleads guilty to copyright infringement
Music and file-sharing sites have often fallen under scrutiny for the hazy or even non-existent legality of their operations. The owner of RockDizMusic and RockDizFile websites, Rocky Ouprasith, is the latest to face the consequences of sharing music illegally. Ouprasith has pled guilty to copyright infringement, and could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The 23-year old operated the site from May 2011 to October 2014, and at its peak popularity in 2013, RockDizFile was the second-largest source of pirated music in the country. Federal officials seized file-holding servers in the Netherlands, Russia and France when they shut the site down in 2014. Ouprasith later tried to start it up again.
The market value of the pirated music on the site is allegedly more than $2.5 million. Ouprasith based his operations around acquiring copyrighted songs and albums from other online sources, and encouraging what he called “affiliates” to upload music to RockDizFile. Affiliates were paid commission based on the number of file downloads. On May 17, Ouprasith announced a website-relaunch date of June 3, including the message “Can’t wait to start bringing you all the latest and greatest in underground R&B and Hiphop music” in his post. The link included in the post directed the viewer to a page with a less optimistic message: “Today We Are Shutting Down RockDizMusic: I love you all and hope y’all will accomplish any obstacles y’all may face and move forward on during your endeavors. Cheesey chicken nuggets eat buffalo sauce obama bahama mama.” Ouprasith will be sentenced on November 17.