Police Raid Shuts Down Dozens Of File-Sharing Sites

Servers at a company founded by the people behind the Pirate Bay were shut down by police looking for proof of copyright infringement. Is it the beginning of the end for piracy?

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Police have raided a hosting company in a bid to shut down a range of file-sharing sites.

The hosting company PRQ was founded by the Pirate Bay co-founders and was used to host or route many file-sharing sites. These sites have been unavailable since the raid, though several have found alternative means to get back online.

PRQ owner Mikael Viborg said the police were looking for four servers in particular. "It is the first time since 2010 they've done this", he told local press (via Torrent Freak).

Police first attempted to find the hardware on Monday, but due to a technical error the PRQ systems were down, forcing a separate search today.

It is not the first time that PRQ has been investigated by authorities. In 2006 police confiscated 180 servers in a search that led to the famous Pirate Bay convictions, but many were owned by people who were not connected to the file-sharing.

Authorities worldwide appear to be stepping up the crackdown on piracy in 2012. Yesterday we reported on a new law in Japan which could put anyone who downloads pirated material behind bars for two years, and the US ISP Mediacom will soon threaten repeat offenders with a life ban from using their services.

Will the music industry finally see an improvement in revenue with stronger policing and new laws? Let us know what you think in the comments.

77 comments sorted by best / new / date

    All of these attempts at 'shutting down' these sites are about as much use as a fishnet condom. Not only are there too many of these such sites for it to be effective, anyone who knows anything about how the internet works can get past any blocks they use incredibley easily.
    "dozens of sites" I don't know how many sites these people doing the raids think there are, but dozens doesn't even scratch the surface of it.
    They can't say which ones because they will be back in a few days and the publicity might double their visitors
    Breaking news, lawmans: this "fight" is pointless. You shut down 12 sites and 120 pops up out of nowhere.
    When I was younger we used to record movies and albums on tape instead of download them in the digital format. Maybe we should just do that again ...it seems like it wasn't a problem at this time!?!
    They did complain about that. Cassette recorders were 'the end of the industry' when they came out years ago and that proved to be untrue. Digital piracy is just the next in line...
    It doesn't matter what they do to try and stop it, people will find a way around it. For the record, I don't pirate music, films, TV, books or anything else.
    With the advent of Spotify becoming so big, you can't use the excuse of "listening before you buy" for your reason to pirate. I know, cause I used to do it. Spotify is free, or you can pay 10/month for premium which is pretty damn good and you can take it with you on your phone as an app so you can't complain about being able to listen on your phone or something. Buy the artists music. Don't be douches.
    I used to do it myself, I really find more joy in buying the actual CD and having the physical copy. While i think some of these new laws are rather harsh, I just don't think downloading music for free is that cool, and like you said, there's always spotify so you really CAN listen before you buy. There's really no excuse!
    Actually, there are some songs I've only liked a bit, but still downloaded and ended up liking those songs more than some I really enjoyed on first listen. Listening once isn't enough to get a good idea of a song. Also, I don't necessarily want an app, or having to use phone data to listen to music, I'd rather have it saved to SD card. That said, I do believe in buying actual CDs & fully legal downloads for bands I listen to, and buying merch, etc.
    So why not buy what you enjoy? You can listen to songs for free on youtube as well. You can listen more than once at a number of different places and uh..wifi? You don't have to use phone data. There are tons of places with free wifi not to mention your own home.
    I do - if I like an album I've downloaded, I will go and buy it. That way everyone wins. Also, a lot of the time I listen to music when I'm walking to and from places - that can be 1.5 miles often. Wifi & data is simply not viable. At home, I use YouTube mainly. But when I'm on the move...
    There's a lot of stuff that flat-out isn't available on Spotify. What do we do in that case?
    Dozens of sites? Piracy = Defeated. Alright guys, time to tackle something else. How 'bout that Somali famine? Let's shut down dozens of famines!
    I lol'd but yeah, they're not interested in that because there's no money involved.
    I wonder if there's some company somewhere that lobbies to end world hunger but wonders why no one'll accept their money. I think I have a very skewed picture of politics.
    This is getting tiresome. I've switched to buying music right off the back most of the time, since I'm working again, but as someone who had no other way of hearing new stuff in the past and resorting to downloading, I feel bad for those who can't. I found and subsequently bought so much music that I only could have found through the internet because of it. Focus on the real ****ing crimes, guys...
    Police chief: "Hey I know how to fix this!" *throws computer in the trash* "That should get rid of em for a while."
    Wasn't a study done proving that illegal downloading of music boosted sales? Also, such crimes should go under copywright infringement and apply to that, not theft.
    I think copyright infrigement is harsher than theft.
    Care to elaborate?
    I don't know a whole lot about this, but aren't there huge fines, like up to tens of thousands of dollars for distributing illegally copied stuff protected by copyrights?
    broken ipod
    and isnt it illegal to distribute illegally copied stuff protected by copyrights, yes so as along as you dont break the law it shouldnt matter. as it is commiting a crime you should expect some kind of punishment which will keep some from doing it
    Surely if they just made all releases digital.. i.e. scrapped DVDs/Blu-Ray/CDs, would they not be able to bring down the costs so that it was like $2.99 an album and maybe $4.99 a movie? I'm sure if the costs were brought down so it was cheaper, more people would just buy stuff rather than illegally download it. I know I would.
    The price of the albums usually makes up for the price of recording and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars are spent. You can't sell an album for 3 bucks and recoup that cost. Not to mention. If a nobody band releases a low quality EP for 5 bucks, I'd be pissed if my professionally recorded music was released for less. Also alot of people like having physical copies of things. What I've noticed it boils down to with alot of people is they think they are owed something constantly. And we;re not. Its a mutual relationship. You release music, I buy. Not, you release music and I bitch about not getting a free sticker or tshirt.
    Actually, i quite like it when i open an album up and find a free sticker to put on my bass case. It gave me a Rise Against sticker for it But i completely agree. I simply love having a physical copy of my music. Theres just something about having it, being able to read along to the lyrics, the album artwork (digital artwork or lyrics websites dont count) that always makes it worth the extra cash. Just my opinion in a sea of others though.
    The only problem with getting a physical copy (which I also prefer to do) is that rather than 10 or 12 dollars some are now up around 20 dollars, though some are lower. But IMO $19.99 for a physical copy is too much when it's $9.99 online. So then I'm more likely just to pirate it. Just an observation. And I too enjoy free stickers And reading lyrics and stuff.
    So if its 9.99 and cheaper you would still pirate it? I don't follow your logic. You're also obviously shopping at the wrong places. FYE are price gougers but you can usually find good prices at target or online. 10 bucks doesn't break anybodys bank.
    I'm saying I'd rather buy a physical copy is it isn't much more than 12 or 13 dollars.If it's 9.99 I'll gladly purchase it, but I prefer not to use itunes because I feel like I don't actually own my music.
    Of all of the world's problems, it makes since that music piracy is onw of the main concerns...
    Why have people down voted this guy? He's clearly being sarcastic.
    "Will the music industry finally see an improvement in revenue" - WHAT THE FUCK! EMI and SONY and money hungry bitches!
    losing battle
    Shouldn't they be using these people be going after real criminals? You know human trafficers, pedos, organ harvesters..... yeah piracy the top priority in crime on the internet.
    People will just consume less, which hurts the industry overall. Consumption creates cash.
    i find it funny how pop superstar cd's are like 10 bucks in like every cd store.. but hard rock/metal/punk/obscure music, they always got the cds for like 20+.. how i saw a Black Metal bands cd going for 22 dollars plus tax, i was able to see the insert of it, and it cost $5 if i bought it from the distro. or the re-release of the Germs LP, 25 ****ing dollars? hell no for like 30 min of music.. nahhh
    ROW ROW FIGHT THA POWAH from a music point of view (and im not saying this is true for genres accross the board) artists really couldnt give a shit if their music is torrented or shared by other means, they get enough cash from playing shows. people dont need record labels to promote and distribute content anymore, that can be easily done on the internet by anyone. ah well. industry bosses say 'jump', the governments ask 'how high'. its all corrupt.
    Music is such a crap shoot nowadays. Not only do we have new bands coming out that are worse all the time, but a lot of good, established artists have been releasing weak material. If the record industry could start caring about releasing good material as opposed to making money, then I would be more inclined to buy more Cds. As it stands, downloading music is a screening process for me to find band and albums I like. Many good artists who's cds I have downloaded I have gone out and bought CDs for. The other artists I was merely curious about have since been deleted, and I was spared the effort of buyers remorse.
    Meanwhile, if you pirate music and physically sell it at swap meets in the U.S. you only get tagged with a misdemeanor that results in very little jail time or financial punishment. The real pirates are laughing at the RIAA and other music industry associations while they walk off with millions. The RIAA could have put its lobbying money into getting lawmakers to increase the penalties for actual street level out in the open piracy, but they haven't. The RIAA: the world's leading exponent of Internetphobia and misplaced priorities.
    If you support these new laws you support cooperate greed. It will do nothing to bring g back the old music industry the suites miss so dearly
    I get the feeling that even during dropping music sales etc the "suites" will not be the ones losing out.
    I think this will hurt the music industry. I know nerely every album iv ever bought iv downloaded first, listened to, and bought because i was impressed by the music. I probably would only have discovered less then a tenth the bands i know if it wasnt for pirating. The Black Keys and GY!BE should be happy I downloaded their stuff cuz if i never did i wouldnt have ended up buying their cd's. I dont have the money to just buy an album because it looks neat or cuz its popular, I will buy an album because its good and pirating allows me to find which ones are the good ones and which ones are the bad. Plus when ever I do find a new band thats good I post songs on FB and tell people about it. I told a friend about The Black Keys after downloading an album and a couple months later they payed 70 bucks to go see them live. So in that way The Black Keys are $70 richer because I was able to get an album for free (which I have since payed for). Pirating has been a good thing for the bands that i like.
    Do you honestly buy all the music you download? I know I havent but I have tried to change my ways and use sites like tradersden to download live concerts that those bands allow taping. But Youtube is still the best way to sample the songs. Should have done that on my last purchase.
    Emenius Sleepus
    I can only speak for myself, however... Theoretically, if I could afford to, most definitely. In practice it's a matter of time; however because of downloading I've been exposed to infinitely larger number of bands, whom I've subsequently paid to see live, buy merch, and also bought their music - LP, CD and tape formats inclusively. Without downloading I probably would not have heard a large portion of this stuff, nor could I then recommend it to other people who had the money to buy it. Therefore these bands would not have had any promotion or money on my behalf. Perhaps the big record companies are just pissed that I don't want to support their mass-produced rubbish and choose to pay for something that I genuinely enjoy. Living on the student allowance and having to balance the cost of living against personal wishes is not the easiest thing to do. But as it stands, I'm hardly encouraged to seek out new music by the music industry itself. Apple's digital download formats are subpar and limited in their transfer abilities. (That's my most recent experience, feel free to correct me if that's not the case). There are more reasons for keeping downloading in existence than just shutting it down - perhaps there are just better ways the industry and the bands can go about it; models such as "pay what you like and download in preferred format" have been successful as far as I can see.
    Emenius Sleepus
    also someone mentioned spotify; I haven't had a chance to use it myself as of yet, but it's definitely a step in the right direction.
    No kidding, I have a movie collection that spans into the thousands. My Blu Rays alone add up to probably 500 at the moment. I bought probably 80% of my collection used at the pawn shop, rarely will I pay full price for a Blu Ray, unless it something special or that I have to have right now. I don't make a ton of money, but still "feed my habit" by setting aside a few bucks a week for a movie.
    ginger ninja102
    Why does it seem that all of a sudden instead of bitching about file sharing somethings being done about it.wheter you're for or against it you have admit its a few years to Late
    Wow, they shutdown some of the downloading sites, for some reason I have a boner over the fact that they think they won.
    It's a good idea to bring this online, so the servers will be hidden.
    I don't know about anyone else but with the advent of so many media streaming apps like Spotify, I haven't d/l a music torrent in the longest time. And if a band doesn't have their music up on a program like that, they usually have a link on their youtube account where you can get their music either for free or dirt cheap. I do however d/l tons of shows and I don't regret it at all. I can't be dropping 15 to 30 bucks a month for HBO, and Showtime just so I can watch 1 episode of boardwalk empire or dexter every week for 4 months out of the year.
    And those shows will not make the money to keep going if everyone steals them unfortunately. So 30 bucks is better than 120 a year for hbo. Eventually they will all go to netflix.
    Which is why I have a subscription to Netflix. So glad for it too, would've never checked out Sons of Anarchy or 30 Rock if it wasn't for that. But that being said, certain shows aren't available on any site like Hulu or Netflix. Let me put it this way, is it a good thing to do? Not necessarily, but it sure as hell is easy to condemn someone on the internet when no one knows all the stuff you've done off the net.
    I do agree and I know I havent been a good boy all my life either. I did buy Game of Thrones but it was expensive as hell. I just hope more shows go direct to Netflix like Lillyhammer or Bill Burr.