p2pnet news | Interviews:- The US Department of Justice has taken on the role of marketeer for Bill and the Boyz.
It’s forcing Linux user Scott McCausland, aka sk0t, to install Microsoft Windows while he’s on probation after admitting he uploaded the Star Wars Episode III .
McCausland, an EliteTorrents administrator before it was shut down by the FBI, was jailed for five months and also sentenced to home confinement during which he’s been banned from using Linux.
Yesterday, “Weekend Passing Fast,” he blogged, going on:
This weekend seems to be speeding by… whooosh… there is goes… it is already Sunday (for 2 hours now)… and Monday is my start date for school. It will hopefully reign as a new beginning
for me. I will post more on that topic later.
Today, “I am heading back to school for the first time in a while,” he says,
I am switching my focus from Psychology to Management Information Systems (MIS),
I start this morning at 11:15AM, I just have to remember to wear long pants… atleast of the first day to cover up my Ankle Monitor. What a great first impression; “Hi, My name is Scott, I just out of prison, and I am on home confinement for 5 months. I like long walks on the beach and furry fuzzy puppies.”
McCausland had a few words with p2pnet >>>>>
p2pnet: You were charged in what the DoJ says is the first ‘criminal enforcement action’ against ‘copyright infringement on a p2p network using BitTorrent technology’. And that lined you up for a possible five years in jail, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release. Obviously, that had to be a frightening prospect. How did it affect you and your family, and what did your friends have to say about it?
sk0t: Well, I was a mess for a while. It was late May 05, and I was in a summer session at my university, and it was just a lot. I withdrew from that semester, and focused on the prospect of a prison term. My family, rightfully so, was shook up about it. But, what could they do? It was a battle in mind hands. So I got a lawyer, and we started the business of working through this. My family was supportive, and my friends were shocked. What else can anyone say? I made the bed I have to lay in.
p2pnet: You admitted to ‘conspiracy to commit copyright infringement’ and ‘criminal copyright infringement’ for loading Star Wars: Episode III before its official release, and landed in jail. Where were you imprisoned, and what was it like?
sk0t: I was designate to FCI Morgantown, located in Morgantown, WV. It was a Minimum Security prison, with the exemption of having a Special Housing Unit (‘the hole’, designated at MAXIMUM SECURITY’). It was a typical prison day. Forced to get up at 7:00, (but 99% of the time you were up earlier because the lights were turned on at 6AM). The diversity of the prison was staggering. I was a definitive minority. The food was horrible, the atmosphere was horrible, and the inmates were typical inmates… doing their time. I didnt have a lot of incidents there… but the ones I do, I will save for another time.
p2pnet: A couple of days ago you blogged, “Opinions Needed – So, I am getting shafted by the Justice Department again… Here goes: I had a meeting with my probation officer today, and he told me that he has to install monitoring software onto my PC. No big deal to me, that is part of my sentence. However, their software doesnt support GNU/Linux (Which is what I use). So, he told me that if I want to use a computer, I would have to use an OS that the software can be installed on. Which basically means: MICROSOFT AND MONITORING SOFTWARE or NO COMPUTER. I use Ubuntu 7.04 now, and they are trying to force me to switch.” What kind of help are you loooking for?
sk0t: I’m not really looking for help, I just initially wanted opinions on the whole thing, opinions or comments, whatever anyone wanted to say. I don’t mind when people speak their mind: if you think I am retarded, by all means, post about it. I just wanted to let everyone know what is going on … this is pertinent to a lot of people.
p2pnet: You have an appeal for donations on your website. You state, “I want to inform you all that this money will go to the purchase of Microsoft Windows XP or Vista …” – pPresumably, that’s because of the Linux provocation – and you also say the money will help with, “other expenses related to my situation,” also cautioning people not to donate if there are not “financially stable”. So how much do you think you’ll need?
sk0t: I didnt add an appeal for donations… I added an ‘OPTIONAL’ DONATE link. If people want to donate so be it. I’ll use the money to purchase Microsoft Windows XP or VISTA, (because I still need a computer for school, and the internet. The option of not using the internet won’t work for my current situation). And if I happens to get more money, I’ll use the money for other items relating to my situation … who knows, I might put a poll up to see what I should use the money on. I wouldn’t, however, spend the money frivolously. I know what it’s like to take advantage of a situation, and I know what it’s like to get taken advantage of…
p2pnet: People involved in entertainment industry lawsuits have in the past made similar appeals, some of them raising considerable amounts of money. Do you plan to provide information on how much money you receive and exactly what it’s being spent on?
sk0t: Yes, I’ll provide detailed receipts and information on what the money is being used for. No doubt.
p2pnet: Do you have a girlfriend? And if you have, how has all this affected your relationship?
sk0t: I’ve had the same girlfriend for over 5 years. As you can imagine, 5 months away (while I was in prison) can be hectic on a relationship. But we managed to work through it all, and we both survived.
p2pnet: Back to the case itself, you’ve admitted uploading Star Wars, so what were you thinking about when you did that?
sk0t: I was just doing what I had always done relating to the piracy scene. If I had something, everyone was entitled to partake. I got a hold of the movie, and put it on the site. For that is the way I feel it should have been done.
p2pnet: You now have two felony black marks against you. Do you see yourself as a criminal?
sk0t: I see myself as a normal individual who does what everyone else does … you can say I stole, fine. But hypocrisy is a pet peeve of mine. If you upload something illegal, or download something illegal you are the same to me. And when I hear that downloaders arent as bad as uploaders I just chuckle… because what is the difference. There are lots of downloaders, and in the torrent game, you still seed… so everyone tastes both worlds… I just got caught. I do not condone what I did, I just feel I was handled harshly.
p2pnet: What are your thoughts on P2P and file sharing in general?
sk0t: It won’t stop. Nothing can be done to slow the trend of filesharing and illegally obtaining software, music, movies, and porn. It is here to stay. I am no longer part of that world, but I won’t ever forget it.
p2pnet: On August 8 you posted, “Today was a great day… I proceed in the normal direction at the start of today… I wake up… smooge around a little bit… then sit at the computer. I check my email, check here for any comments and then check my feeds for anything new I haven’t read (there is always something new)… and then I decide to check the status of my school loan application… so even though it is a Sunday, I figure: “What the hell, I will check it out”… low and behold, I was approved… so that is one less thing I have to worry about….” What’s a bad day like?
sk0t: Waking up in prison surrounded by 1,500 people who could care less what you did, who you are, and what you plan to do… loneliness is terrible thing. But if you have read my posts you will notice that I lost a lot of friends with this (almost all)… and it has opened my eyes to a few things.
p2pnet: Things are tough, right now, but but they won’t stay like that forever. What are your plans for the future?
sk0t: I will be returning back to school. My “GOOD DAY” post has proved to not exist. I got some details about the school loan that I was approved for, and it turns out that there were things not mentioned in the credit disclosure. So I wasn’t willing to accept the terms of the loan… back to the drawing board. I will be returning to school and trying to find a new way to fund my education.
Star Wars Slith movie – EliteTorrents admin jailed, October 27, 2006