Owner of illegal music sharing site gets 5 years in prison

A California man who operated what prosecutors say was one of the most successful illegal music sharing websites on the internet has been sentenced to five years in federal prison.

The U.S. attorney's office in Atlanta said in a news release Thursday that 30-year-old Artur Sargsyan of Glendale, California, owned and operated Sharebeast.com and other websites. Prosecutors say his file-sharing infrastructure allowed the illegal download of about a billion copyrighted musical works from at least 2012 through 2015.

Sargsyan pleaded guilty in September to criminal copyright infringement for private financial gain. In addition to the prison term, the judge ordered him to pay $458,200 in restitution and to forfeit nearly $185,000.

Prosecutors say Sargsyan ignored repeated notifications that he was illegally hosting and sharing copyrighted works.