Czech police shut down illegal server
Prague, 23rd April 2008
Czech police have shut down a computer server being used to illegally store and upload large amounts of copyright infringing music and film onto the internet.
The server was hosted at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Prague, though owned by a private legal entity, and was used to power the topsite ‘BA’ or ‘blind alley’. Topsites are websites used by groups of users known as “release groups” to leak pre-release music onto the internet.
Police discovered the server contained an estimated four terabytes of copyright infringing music, film, games and software and was connected to the internet by a fast one gigabyte line to enable the material to be distributed quickly and efficiently. This makes it one of the most powerful servers ever closed in police action. The topsite was used by several “release groups” including AG, CaF, DMU, FCR, iTWINS, NBP and SWE6RUS.
The police raid followed an investigation by local and international anti-piracy experts from IFPI, the organisation that represents the recording industry worldwide. The industry anti-piracy experts gathered evidence of the infringement being facilitated by the server and made a criminal complaint. The police were able to verify the evidence, acquire a warrant from the public prosecutor and conduct a raid within 10 days.
Jeremy Banks, Head of the IFPI’s Internet Anti-Piracy Unit, said: “Pre-release music piracy hurts artists, composers and producers who have spent months working to make an album. We are working to identify the “topsites” that are being used to post pre-release music illegally onto the internet and secure the closure of the servers that power them.
“This operation was a great example of cooperation between the Czech authorities and the recording industry. It shows that the Czech Republic is no haven for internet pirates that want to violate copyright law in such a serious way.”For further information contact:
Alex Jacob, IFPI London
Tel: +44 (0)20 7878 7935 (Press Office)