Police raid P2P operators across Finland in major action against hubs
London, 4th June 2007
Finnish police today launched a major crackdown on operators and users of DirectConnect hubs, raiding several premises in the cities including Turku, Oulu and Helsinki metropolitan area.
DirectConnect hubs are servers operated by one or more individuals using software to enable users of the DirectConnect peer-to-peer network to find and download files from other users connected to the same hub. Police are now investigating these cases as suspected copyright infringements, for which the maximum penalty is two years in prison. The criminal complaints were originally filed by the Copyright Information and Anti-Piracy Centre (CIAPC).
Antti Kotilainen, CIAPC Director said: “These actions shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. All of these hubs have had several thousand members and their operators were facilitating mass infringement of copyright, involving hundreds of thousands of music files and tens of thousands of movie files. The operators of DC hubs should be aware that we will be filing more complaints in the near future.”
Finland has one of the world’s most advanced online environments yet the country also has one of largest concentrations of copyright-infringing P2P hubs. This is a key factor in the relatively slow development of a legitimate digital music business in Finland compared to other countries.
Today’s actions have been applauded by associations representing international rights holders.
John Kennedy, Chairman and CEO of IFPI, representing the recording industry worldwide said: “We welcome the action taken today by the Finnish police against the operators of illegal P2P hubs. These operators were facilitating mass infringement of copyrighted music, draining investment in the Finnish creative industries and in particular hurting local Finnish acts who represent well over half the music market. The actions announced today, and those that will follow, are a message to illegal DC hub operators - they have no hiding place and their activities will not be tolerated.”
Halli Kristinsson, the Vice-President and Regional Director for anti-piracy operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa., said: “We warmly welcome the Finnish police actions against these hub operators. Nordic countries, especially Finland and Sweden, are among the worst, when it comes to illegal filesharing of movies using DirectConnect.”
Research findings, both in Finland and internationally, consistently support the case for strong action against illegal P2P filesharing in order to help stimulate the growth of the legitimate online business. Leading Finnish research firm Taloustutkimus Oy reported in May that nearly 80 % of Finnish people are aware that unauthorised filesharing of movies and music is illegal. CIAPC estimates that during 2006 there were more than 150,000 active filesharers in Finland, most of them using local Finnish DC hubs.
For further information contact:
Adrian Strain, IFPI London
Tel: +44 (0)207 8787 7935 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org