OiNK BitTorrent admin faces fraud prosecution
Uploaders to be hauled before the beak, too
Cleveland police have charged Alan Ellis, the former administrator of the defunct BitTorrent tracker site OiNK.cd, with conspiracy to defraud the record industry.
Ellis, a 25-year-old IT worker, will face magistrates at a committal hearing on 24 September, a police spokeswoman said today. Five individuals who were arrested in June for uploading music torrents to OiNK will also appear to answer charges of criminal copyright infringement.
All the alleged offences could carry prison sentences.
The charges follow a lengthy investigation code-named "Operation Ark Royal". Ellis was arrested in October 2007 in a raid on his Middlesbrough home. Coordinated raids by Dutch authorities seized the servers that hosted OiNK.
Police at the time alleged that running the BitTorrent tracker had been "extremely lucrative", making "hundreds of thousands of pounds". Ellis' police bail was extended three times while computer forensics officers gathered evidence.
OiNK was operated on an invitation-only basis, and accepted donations from members. It was prized by members for the high quality encoding of many of the files it tracked, and for its frequent pre-release uploads. ®
I just have to ask, you see, since i paid for this inquiry through Taxes and having some knowledge of Cleveland.......
Is this really the most important crime going on in Teesside at the moment? Were the million plus £ spent on this really more important than reducing the burglaries, the car crime, the street robberies, the anti social behavior, the domestic violence or even the drink driving that blytes every large urban conurbation in the UK with Teesside being no exception to that rule.
Cleveland Police, like all Police Forces already struggle to even dent all the above, but yet the find enough spare cash, in the Millions to fund such a large and disproportionate expensive inquiry when compared to actual crime which is still arguably a civil offence and not a criminal matter that should involve the Police.
I realise that most of the UK readership do not live in Teesside and the £1 and change proportion of their Council Tax that the Police get will not have been spent on this but their larger taxes,in the form of Government central funding will have.
Furthermore what exactly was the role of the Federation Against Copyrights Theft (FACT) role in all this? Why was their involvement trumpeted as a multi agency private public partnership now not even mentioned? Could it be, as suggested, that an ambitious but largely ignorant senior Officer looking for a national, even international headline grabbing investigation believed everything he was told by FACT, swallowed it hook line and sinker and only realised the truth when it was too late? Are these charges nothing but a face saving exercise, a ridiculous test case aimed at preventing embarrassment rather than forging new legal ground?
I always had trouble believing the "Hundreds of Thousands of Pounds" line, this just looked like a private tracker with limited membership similar in every way to the dozens shut down, quite legally and properly through the civil courts in every other sane country. Everything ever said in Public Statements by the Cleveland Police smelled wrong, smelled of ignorance and Industry Rhetoric probably provided chapter and verse by these FACT advisors.
Regardless of all the above, i find it hard to see how the Cleveland Police can justify spending their limited budget on a investigation that really only serves to, arguably, protect the profit margin of foreign companies who themselves are under investigation for anti trust sharp & Spanish practices dating back decades.
One of the grounds for deciding on whether a charge should be leveled against a suspect is that is the matter "Is in the publics interest?". I find it hard to believe that this is, given all the rest of the issues facing society today, its not exactly keeping the streets safe or combating white collar crime now is it? Police budgets after all are quite simple, spend money / resources here and you cant spend it elsewhere, therefore you can be certain that somewhere in Teesside some old dears are getting their life savings screwed because the resources aren't available anymore to prevent or detect the shits who are bang at it.
Frankly this stinks of career ambition driven hubris.
Please note this is not a Freetard defence piece, i don't really care about them, their impact has not harmed the creation of new media as far as i can tell because i can still buy new media. Should this change and they do actually damage the industry then ill start to care and start to want them crushed. However like most other paytards i realise that this is unlikely, it hasn't happened yet and it probably wont, so i don't care what they get up to listen to music a week earlier than me.
Also please note any of you militant paytards who object to uncaring paytards like me who trot out that old classic that the freetards drive up prices. Well you can stuff that up your militancy becuase like every other paytard in Rip Off Britain my wallet gets raped more by the anti trust and cartlesim of the Industry than it ever could because of a bunch of freetards who cant afford to buy the stuff in the first place.
Freetards, i just dont care what you do and neither do the majority of paytards.
""It is a well established legal premise that downloading for free deprives the record industry of revenue. Even the most abject Freetard accepts that this is a point of law and fact. By extension loss of revenue to record companies is loss of taxation revenue to the government so they will pursue this.""
I know a lot of freetards and most of them do not acept this point in fact most of there arguments revolve around the fact that a download <> a loss of sale most downloads are "for seeing of I might like it" or "I like it bout nowhere enought to pay the £20 they want for it" or "I want it but I can not get it anywhere else" or even "I own it but the orignal meida it damaged or wrong format or lost"
Fact is, no one, not even these heinous "uploaders", uploaded any media files to the Oink website. They uploaded a small torrent file containing checksums. All transfers of media files go directly from one user's computer to another user's computer.