British Arrest In Music Piracy Case

You’ve heard of lawsuits to close illegal download sites. But in raids in England and Holland, police arrested the man believed to be behind the file-sharing site site OiNK and closed down its servers.   Don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of Oink. You needed an invitation to become one of its 180,000 members, and that invitation was only forthcoming if you had a “donation” of music to share – as well as money to pay for downloads.   In fact, OiNK was one of the main sources of illegal pre-release music. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the site has leaked 60 major pre-release albums this year, often weeks before their official release date.   Oink members distributed recordings in the torrent file format to other OiNK members, and had to keep posting such music to the site to maintain their membership. Once an album had been posted on the site, the users that downloaded it then passed the content to other websites, forums and blogs, where multiple copies were made.   In a statement, Jeremy Banks, Head of the IFPI’s Internet Anti-Piracy Unit, said:   “OiNK was central to the illegal distribution of pre-release music online. This was not a case of friends sharing music for pleasure. This was a worldwide network that got hold of music they did not own the rights to and posted it online. This operation was a classic example of how the recording industry can work with law enforcement agencies to prove that illegal operations on the internet are not immune from detection.”   The man arrested was an unnamed 24 year-old IT worker from Middlesbrough, England. According to the BBC, he worked for a multi-national company, whose offices were searched, along with the home of the man’s father.   The site’s servers in Amsterdam had been shut down last week. The arrest was the culmination of a two-year investigation by Interpol. Police are now trying to trace the money involved, which is believed to amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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