Cops crash invite-only BitTorrent network
A win for Media Defender?
Police raids in the North East of England and the Netherlands today have shut down invitation-only BitTorrent music sharing operation OiNK.cd.
Cameras were invited to witness the arrest of a 24-year-old IT worker from Middlesbrough, who is accused of being behind what police branded a "piracy scam". As part of the same Interpol-coordinated investigation, Dutch police swooped in Amsterdam to seize the OiNK servers.
The man cannot be identified for legal reasons, and is now being questioned on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and infringement of copyright law.
His employer, an unnamed large multinational, was also raided. [Know which? Tell us in confidence by clicking the reporter's name above.]
In a statement, Cleveland Police said: "This extremely lucrative and creative scheme consisted of a private file sharing website being set up. Membership was by invitation only. The site allowed the uploading and downloading of pre-release music and media to thousands of members. Members paid donations via debit or credit cards, ensuring their continued access to the site."
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) was involved in the investigation, along with the British Phonographic Institute. The record industry lobby groups said the arrest was particularly important because of OiNK's role as a source of pre-release music.
The IFPI said: "More than 60 major album releases have been leaked on OiNK so far this year, making it the primary source worldwide for illegal pre-release music."
Interestingly, OiNK was one of the file sharing networks fingered as a target of copyright honeypot operation Media Defender last month.
As noted by BitTorrent news site Slyck, 700MB of emails that were leaked from the firm included evidence that it had infiltrated OiNK. The messages indicate Media Defender had access to two of OiNK's private swarms. More here.
A bad week for those evil pirates who have been destroying the very fabric of society. First TV Links closed down and now OiNK.
Aside from eMule, torrents, etc, has anybody out there got any suggestions of other good places that one could, err, theoetically, err, evaluate music, films, TV, etc? Purely for research purposes of course.
erm.... actually, unless I'm mistaken there's no "fair use" in English law that allows you copy music you already own from one medium to another. Therefore ripping CDs or vinyl to MP3 is just as illegal as downloading it in the first place via a torrent... unless of course you're not in England but a less restrictive country, like China perhaps.
I wonder if Microsoft could be prosecuted under English law for "inducing" copyright theft by having a "Rip" button in Media Player?
Seems to be darwin in action
looks like the police / RIAA etc all are just forcing the evolution of file sharing into a truly anonymous form. Very quickly the only ones getting caught doing things like hosting pre release music and movies are the muppets who don't know any better... want to bet the encrypted P2P networks get a massive influx of new users over the next six months? exactly the same thing happened with the take down of napster , the networks evolved into a decentralised system. The rise of bittorrent and ADSL / Broadband gives the public the ability to download massive ammounts of content, high prices means most people would download some MP3's instead of buying a CD.
I expect to see a heavely encrypted and anonymous P2P network capable of Bittorrent download speeds and a massive user base arrise in the next 12 months, all the components are coming together, it just needs some time to form.