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BitTorrent cited in P2P raid

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Australian anti-piracy operatives have raided an ISP suspected of using BitTorrent to "allow the pirating of hundreds of thousands of songs and video clips", as alleged by a Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) spokesman. MIPI investigators - acting without police support and bearing an "Anton Piller" search warrant used in civil proceedings - searched the premises of Swiftel Communications in Perth and seized "digital evidence relating to web pages and internet transactions consisting of both illegal sound recordings and illegal video clips", AP reports.

MIPI General Manager Michael Speck declared the operation "a new and important development in our fight against internet music piracy". He alleged that Swiftel used BitTorrent "to link infringers to music clips and sound recordings", adding that MIPI believed "hundreds of thousands of downloads have been conducted during the last year in breach of copyright laws".

Speck warned: "The record industry will continue to take legal action to protect its copyright whether it's on the internet or elsewhere. We will continue to act against ISPs who we believe are set up as vehicles for piracy."

MIPI parent body, the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA), is currently in court pursuing a civil action against Kazaa owner Sharman Networks. ARIA claims that Sharman created the world's largest music piracy network, and also knew for what illegal purpose its software was being put and even encouraged such usage. The trial is expected to conclude later this month. ®

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