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Italian authorities raid alleged music filesharing forum

Megaupload and Rapidshare link site targeted

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Italy's Guardia di Finanza has shut down forum site Downrevolution.net for offering links to pirated music, video and software hosted on popular filesharing sites.

Four people have been arrested for involvement in the site. According to a message posted to the domain, they face a criminal investigation.

Reports say that three of those arrested were children. Investigators seized 17 computers, three external hard disks and hundreds of CDs and DVDs from a basement in Sesto San Giovanni, near Milan.

The adult male arrested lived in nearby Paderno Dugnano. The children were residents of Puglia and Campania provinces.

A successful prosecution could carry jail terms of up to four years and fines and fees stretching to hundreds of thousands of Euros, Reuters reports.

The Italian prosecutor said 30,000 Downrevolution.net members were using the site to illegally trade files over Rapidshare.com and Megaupload.com. The site made money from banner advertising and accepted donations from users, it's alleged.

The Guardia di Finanzia is part of Italy's armed forces, and carries out accounting and intellectual property investigations on of the Ministry of Finance. Downrevolution.net had been targeted for takedown by FPM, the Italian record industry's anti-piracy arm.

"Locker" sites such as Megaupload and Rapidshare allow users to upload any file for free and distrubute a link for others to access it. Such services are increasingly popular with filesharers seeking to conserve their own upload bandwidth and avoid authorities' tighter scrutiny of peer-to-peer networks.

Last year British police arrested the operator of a site offering links to free streams of copyright video. He remains under investigation, as do the administrator and six users of OiNK.cd, a BitTorrent music tracker also raided last year. ®

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