Britons arrested in illegal file-sharing case

OiNK.cd shut down following a police raid

Six Brits have been arrested for illegally sharing music files. Cleveland Police made the arrests on May 23 and 28 'in relation to uploading pre-release music' onto the now defunct BitTorrent tracker OiNK.cd. However, the exact offences they are alledged to have committed remain unknown.

The five men aged between 19 and 33, and a 28-year-old woman have since been bailed without charge, pending further inquiries.

OiNK.cd was shut down following a police raid at the home of its administrator, 24-year old Middlesbrough-based IT worker Alan Ellis. The servers of the invitation-only website were seized during the operation and later returned wiped.

Ellis remains on police bail under suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and infringement of copyright law. His bail has been repeatedly extended, with the next deadline set for 1 July.

According to the Torrentfreak blog, the six did not know Ellis and under Section 49 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIP Act) were asked to hand over details of their OiNK.cd accounts or risk a prison sentence of up to five years.

U.K. music industry body the BPI said in a statement: "The BPI and IFPI worked with the police in order to close down the OiNK tracker site last October. The illegal online distribution of music, particularly pre-release, is hugely damaging, and as OiNK was the biggest source for pre-releases at the time we moved to shut it down. We provided the information to assist this investigation, but this is now a police matter and we are unable to comment further at this stage."

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