A Glendale man who ran the music sharing site Sharebeast.com was sentenced to prison Thursday for criminal copyright infringement, the Justice Department has announced.
Artur Sargsyan, 30, was sentenced to five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Also, he was ordered to pay restitution of $458,200 and must forfeit $184,769. Sargsyan pleaded guilty to the charges in September.
According to prosecutors and court documents, from at least 2012 through 2015, Sargsyan illegally distributed and reproduced copyrighted works through Sharebeast.com. Prosecutors estimate he illegally distributed about 1 billion copies of copyrighted materials. The site made money from online advertising.
Illegally stored and distributed works included songs by Bruno Mars, Linkin Park, Pitbull, Gwen Stefani, Ariana Grande, Destiny’s Child, Katy Perry, Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson, Kanye West and Justin Bieber.
“Sargsyan was warned several times that he was violating the law by illegally sharing copyrighted works, but chose to ignore those warnings,” said David LaValley, special agent for the FBI in Atlanta. “His sentence sends a message that no matter how complex the operation, the FBI, its federal partners and law enforcement partners around the globe will go to every length to protect the property of hard-working artists.”
The FBI has seized Sharebeast.com, according to an announcement on the website.