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RnBXclusive.com domain seized, now hosts threats instead of music

SOCA Website Takedown NoticeBeing in the music blogging business is becoming fraught with danger, as the owners of RnBXclusive.com have just found out, following the seizure of the domain by the Serious Organized Crime Agency in the UK. They haven’t just lost their site either, but have been arrested for fraud.

So, another day, another piracy-related site closure, but what’s interesting here is the message that now greets visitors to the website. You can see the image above, threatening users who have, in the past, downloaded music from RnbXclusive with 10 years in prison and an “unlimited fine”. Ouch.

Plus, the cyber-cops know where you are because they’ve made a point to show your IP address, browser and OS information too. With the sudden amount of interest in RnBXclusive, SOCA’s collection of IP addresses is about to grow exponentially, despite the fact most will belong to tech bloggers who’ve never visited the site before today.

According to reports, the website published news, opinion and links to music. SOCA’s statement says the “majority of music files that were available via the site were stolen from the artists.” It continues by adding “young, emerging artists may have had their careers damaged,” and that “you will have damaged the future of the music industry.”

Despite the website being taken down, RnBXclusive’s Facebook page is still up –complete with more than 250,000 Likes — as is their Twitter account, and an ancient MySpace page.

Is it Genuine?

Concerns that the take-down isn’t genuine seem unfounded though, as even though at the time of writing SOCA hasn’t published a press release or issued any formal statement, several sources have been in contact with SOCA and confirmed the site has indeed been seized.

While it’s becoming clear that RnBXclusive.com did provide links to content like “mixtape” downloads containing potentially unlicensed music, the act of shutting the site down is blurring jurisdiction laws.

The site has a .com domain, hosted by GoDaddy, that has been taken down in the UK presumably with the help of UK registrar Nominet, who are supposedly only able to help with .co.uk domains. Oh, and then there are threats against users after the site has been closed down. It’s becoming increasingly obvious the music industry’s influence is spreading far wider than just the USA.

This follows a rash of similar stories, including the ongoing Megaupload.com situation, BTJunkie.com’s voluntary closure and the recent SOPA controversy.