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Man faces jail for Web sales of CDs

A Texas man pleads guilty to distributing unauthorized recordings of actor Russell Crowe's band over the Web. He could face hefty fines and a year in jail.

An Austin, Texas, man could face up to $100,000 in fines and a year in jail after pleading guilty to distributing live concert recordings of actor Russell Crowe's band over the Web, U.S. attorneys said.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California said Thursday that Billy Joe Acosta pleaded guilty to one count of criminal copyright infringement in connection with selling at least 10 copies of a live performance of the band Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts on eBay and Yahoo. He will be sentenced June 11 in federal court in San Jose, Calif.

In his plea agreement, Acosta admitted to recording a performance in Austin, Texas, and making $700 from selling the items, including a sale to a California resident.

Copyright owners have been stepping up their efforts to crack down on distribution of unauthorized songs and movies via the Web--sometimes going after the technology used to share the material and other times requesting law enforcement's help.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said this case was the result of an FBI investigation. In his plea, Acosta said he stopped selling the recordings after eBay and Yahoo pulled the listings.