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Police bail OiNK admin after filesharing raid

Government minister threatens anti-P2P laws

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The target of yesterday's high-profile file sharing raid in Middlesbrough has been released on bail pending further investigation, Cleveland police said this morning.

The man, who cannot be named, has not been charged with any offence relating to his alleged role in the OiNK BitTorrent site. He was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and copyright infringement.

A message left by the record industry at the OiNK.cd domain says: "A criminal investigation continues into the identities and activities of the site's users."

Yesterday, Cleveland police described donation-funded OiNK as having been "extremely lucrative". The force is "already on the trail" of "hundreds of thousands of pounds" coined by its operators, it said. Footage of the raid on the 24-year-old administrator's flat in a Middlesbrough terrace is available here.

As part of the swoop, the IT worker's employer, a multinational chemical giant, was raided. The firm's UK representative could not be reached for comment today.

According to this morning's police statement, documents and computers were also seized at the man's parents' address in Cheadle, Greater Manchester. Cleveland police said it would be carrying out computer forensics on the equipment it has seized.

OiNK has been reported as a go-to site for pre-release music emerging from studios and record companies, and had gradually risen on the anti-piracy hitlist.

One well-placed insider told The Reg that the industry's enforcement chiefs don't expect another private torrent network to reach the same level of popularity for some years. Invite-only P2P is not a major trend that rights owners are aiming to tackle as a priority, he said.

Separately today, Lord Triesman, the parliamentary Under Secretary for Innovation, Universities and Skills, told the BBC that Labour would legislate if internet providers don't clamp down on file sharing. "If we can't get voluntary arrangements we will legislate," he said, in an interview sure to chill hearts at ISPs.

He qualified the threat by saying talks between the music industry and the ISPs are "progressing more promisingly than people might have thought six months ago", and said he would prefer not to regulate. More here. ®

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