UK Takes Down File Sharing Site, Warns Users of Potential Jail Terms

SOCA, the UK's Serious Organized Crime Agency, has shut down the music file sharing site RnBXexlusive. One person, as yet unnamed but described as a proprietor of the site, was arrested and has made bail. Instead of charging a copyright violation, the UK is charging the proprietor with conspiracy to defraud.

The agency posted a takedown notice on the site. [Heads-Up: When you click, it shows your IP Address, Your Browser, Your Operating System and the time and date you clicked, and says "The above information can be used to identify you and your location.]It contains this warning:

SOCA has the capability to monitor and investigate you, and can inform your internet service provider of these infringements. You may be liable for prosecution and the fact that you have received this message does not preclude you from prosecution.

.... If you have downloaded music using this website you may have committed a criminal offence which carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine under UK law.


Here's what SOCA has to say about it.

The site had 250,000 Facebook friends. SOCA says that in the week leading up to the arrest, it had 70,000 users daily, mostly males between 18. Does the UK have enough jails to hold all those who downloaded music from the site? I also wonder how it knows their ages.

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    Maybe the warning should (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 03:26:15 PM EST
    precede the link!!!!

    ok,, changed it (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 04:11:46 PM EST
    Thank you. (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 04:26:47 PM EST
    Also today in the UK....., (none / 0) (#4)
    by EL seattle on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 09:24:43 PM EST
    International publisher alliance shuts down piracy site

    From TheBookseller.com:

    The two platforms, sharehoster service www.ifile.it and link library www.library.nu, had together created an "internet library" making more than 400,000 e-books available as free illegal downloads. The operators generated an estimated turnover of €8m (£6.7m) through advertising, donations and sales of premium-level accounts, according to a report by German law firm Lausen which helped co-ordinate the alliance.

    The alliance of publishers involved in this action included Cambridge University Press; HarperCollins; Macmillan Publishers Ltd; John Wiley & Sons; the McGraw-Hill Companies, and several others.

    Like in the MegaUpload case, the desperado outfit here seems to be a web operation that was getting significant money from ad revenue and other sources.

    Although the (unlicensed) contents of sites like this can quickly pop up again in another web location, I'm not sure if the moneymaking parts of the operation are quite so easy to re-establish.  But whatever hosting service they use will still want to get paid or the bandwidth, I'd imagine.