Yesterday, a federal indictment issued charging four individuals for their role in the "Rabid Neurosis" or RNS, an alleged "Internet music piracy group" that distributed copies of music prior to their commercial release. According to the seven-page indictment (.pdf) filed in the federal court for the Eastern District of Virginia, between 1999 and 2007, RNS obtained and distributed a number of notable albums before they were released, including "Blue Print 2" by Jay-Z, "Encore" by Eminem and "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" by U2.

The indictment claims that Adil R. Cassim, who used the handle "Kali," was the leader of RNS, while Matthew D. Chow ("RL"), Bennie L. Glover ("ADEG") and Edward L. Mohan, II ("MistaEd") all played high-level roles in the group. According to federal investigators, these individuals set up and maintained a number of file transfer sites containing thousands of copies of copyrighted music, movies, video games and commercial software. The Department of Justice press release states that, if convicted, the RNS Four face five years of jail time and a $250,000 fine.