In what was said to be a low-key operation this morning, police on Teeside have swooped to arrest the owner of Oink.me.uk, one of the world's biggest illegal music file sharing websites.
The private music torrent site, which had around 180,000 registered members, has leaked at least 60 major pre-release albums this year alone, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry - the parent company of the RIAA and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).
The man behind the site was 24-year-old IT worker, who ran the site from a flat in Middlesbrough. He was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and infringement of copyright law.
Both his father's home and his employer, which is said to be a large multi-national company, were raided at the same time
. Additionally the site's servers, which were based in Amsterdam, were confiscated last week by the Dutch police in a series of raids.
The investigation is said to have lasted over two years and had involved Interpol, the Dutch authorities and the British Phonographic Industry. This could be seen as a major coup in the fight against piracy and follows hot on the heels of TV Links
- another UK-based site promoting copyright infringement - as pre-release piracy is understandably quite damaging for the recording industry.
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