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Dutch piracy link site returns

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The controversial Dutch site Releases4U - which offered links to PCs hosted by users of the popular P2P service eDonkey - has gone live again a year after it was closed by Dutch tax and economic crime authorities. The people behind the site, which now uses the URL Releases4u.net, say that linking to pirated files isn't illegal as long they don't host them.

Releases4U was a popular site because the links were checked for content and quality. The site was closed, along with its Dutch rival ShareConnector, after Dutch anti piracy organisation BREIN had "fruitless talks" with the owners. Eight people in nine different locations were arrested on suspicion of committing copyright infringement, and 11 computers seized. The raids coincided with actions of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) against server operators of BitTorrent, eDonkey and DirectConnect sites in Finland and France.

Releases4U says it doesn't make money by providing the links, which was one of the concerns of the Dutch prosecutor's office. "We haven't been prosecuted, and that is the end of it," the site owners claim.

Anti piracy organisation BREIN has already warned it will take “immediate action” when the site returns. BREIN believes that the people behind warez linking sites are often closely related to the people that host the files.

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