Jury Returns Verdict For Matthew Chow
Matthew Chow, a member of Rabid Neurosis, a music file-sharing website, was found not guilty last Friday of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. The Houston jury decided that Chow’s conduct did not rise to “willful violation”, as required by law. Federal authorities claimed that Rabid Neurosis, otherwise known as RNS, was the world’s largest music piracy ring. According to the indictment, Chow and four other members of RNS conspired to illegally upload thousands of music files provided by members of the music industry that they were in contact with. These files were then allegedly reproduced and circulated over the Internet. RNS was best known for releasing albums’ of artists weeks before their official release, and were believed to have spearheaded the file-sharing scene. They also actively promoted illegal file-sharing through slogans on their website. The victim of the alleged crime was The Recording Industry Association of America, or RIAA.
Chow, twenty-eight year old resident of Texas, was supposedly one of the least involved, but was indicted due to his failure to shield his identity. The single count indictment carried with it a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Four other RNS members plead guilty to the crime of conspiracy, and three of them testified in the Houston trial. The case was heard in the Southern Judicial District of Texas, and was presided over by Judge Keith Ellison.