Second Ninjavideo founder pleads guilty: Ninjavideo founder pleads guilty to criminal copyright conspiracy
Hana A. Beshara, 29, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga in the Eastern District of Virginia to conspiracy and criminal copyright infringement. At sentencing, scheduled for Jan. 6, 2012, Beshara faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on each count.
According to court documents, Beshara was one of the founders of NinjaVideo.net, which operated from February 2008 until it was shut down by law enforcement in June 2010. The NinjaVideo.net website allowed visitors to download infringing copies of hundreds of television shows and movies, including those still playing in theaters and some that had not yet been released in theaters. Website visitors could download much of the infringing content for free, but visitors who "donated" at least $25 obtained access to private forum boards that contained a wider range of infringing material.
Beshara, who referred to herself as "Queen Phara" and "the face and the name behind Ninja," was the day-to-day administrator of NinjaVideo.net, according to court documents. In that role, Beshara supervised the website and at times directed the release of infringing copies of specific movies and television shows, including through uploads of copyrighted works by members of the group to computer servers around the world and in the Eastern District of Virginia.
According to the statement of facts, Beshara frequently released podcasts to communicate with the millions of visitors to NinjaVideo.net. In one such podcast, which Beshara entitled "The NinjaVideo Manifesto," Beshara boasted about NinjaVideo's "zero hour releases on TV and movies" - meaning that the website made infringing content available as soon as the legitimate product was released.