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Asian police target movie downloaders

Investigations shifting from servers to clients?

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South Korean police have begun to target people who download content from P2P networks not only those who make such material available. According to local reports, Seoul Jongo law enforcement officers have questioned 57 people after monitoring download activity on at least one P2P service earlier this month.

Police this week alleged they had all been found to have illegally downloaded copies of the movie Lord of War, released last year. The individuals were identified after officers examined log-in records seized from the unnamed local P2P service. Some 25 other individuals were also discovered to have downloaded the film. Their identities are currently being traced, police said.

However, since many of the accused are teenagers, prosecutors may choose not bring criminal charges against them. Some of them have already reached settlements with Media Film International (MFI), which has the rights to the film in South Korea complained about illegal downloads.

South Korean police can only investigate copyright infringement claims when the copyright holder makes formal allegations, though a bill currently being discussed by the country's parliament seeks to change that. ®

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