Home News Afro Briefs Originally published October 13, 2012

National Archives Employee Sentenced for Elaborate System of Pirating Movies, Music

Maryland Criminal Justice

by AFRO Staff

    National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) (Courtesy Image)
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BALTIMORE--A 54 year-old Suitland, Md. man who worked at the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) Archives II site in College Park was sentenced to spend ten weekends in prison after pleading guilty to selling unauthorized copies of copyrighted DVD movies, pre-release movies (movies available only in the movie theaters) and CD music albums, to customers including other NARA employees.

Timajin Nell admitted to authorities that, using his government e-mail address and his government computer, he provided a list of at least 1,144 copyrighted movies and 971 copyrighted songs to potential customers.

He used his personal computer to illegally reproduce copyrighted material and used government computers, equipped with software to defeat devices that protect copyrights to copy additional copyrighted material.

He also used his office to store DVDs, and stored over 8,000 music files on his government computer, according to U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

Authorities traced the enterprise to February 2009 and conducted a lengthy investigation. In October, 2011, a week after Nell allegedly sold an unauthorized copy of a movie to an undercover NARA Office of Inspector General agent at the NARA cafeteria in College Park for $5, his residence and NARA office were the targets of search warrants.

Authorities seized approximately 1,456 pirated DVDs, 447 pirated CDs, 270 commercial DVDs and 178 commercial CDs. Also confiscated were at least one computer and one hard drive containing software that overrode the copyright protection on commercial DVDs and contained approximately 172 files each containing a copy of a copyrighted movie that was copied using this software. 

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