Finnish National Bureau of Investigation raids top pirate sites
London, 19th November 2007
The Finnish National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has raided a number of internet piracy “top sites” in Oulu, arresting three individuals and seizing computer servers suspected to contain ten terabytes of files. The police raids follow a joint cross-industry operation by anti-piracy investigators.
NBI is now investigating suspected copyright infringements, for which the maximum penalty is two years in prison.
The actions, launched on Friday 16th November, came as a result of criminal complaints that were originally filed by Finland’s Copyright Information and Anti-Piracy Centre (CIAPC). Antti Kotilainen, CIAPC Director said: “These top sites have been sharing movies, music and computer games as well as software. Each site was also specialised in sharing particular material, such as animation, Finnish movies or the newest videogames.”
Top sites are usually extremely fast and secretive internet based servers where illegally-obtained files, including new movies, music, games and computer programmes, are first uploaded by so-called release groups. There are thought to be a few hundred key top sites in the whole world. They are highly organised, with a management hierarchy and strict security procedures. Antti Kotilainen, CIAPC Director says: “Top sites are the absolute top of internet piracy and their activity enables sharing of millions of illegal files.”
Jeremy Banks, Head of the IFPI’s Internet Anti-Piracy Unit said: “These actions by the Finnish police send a powerful message to operators of infringing servers: contrary to what you may think, you are not anonymous - you can and you will be caught. These sites were run by highly sophisticated operators who were stealing music and damaging the legitimate music community on a very large scale.”
Halli Kristinsson, Vice-President and Regional Director for MPA anti-piracy operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, underlined the significance of the joint industry co-operation: “These raids prove that efficient co-operation between MPA, ISFE, IFPI and BSA has lead to the fact that the net around top sites and release groups is tightening all the time. These actions will not be the last of their kind.”
“The Business Software Alliance applauds the efforts of the Finnish police for taking this strong and visible action against internet top sites.” said John Wolfe, Director of Internet Enforcement at BSA. “Individuals like the ones operating the sites raided last Friday contribute to the staggering losses that Internet piracy causes the software industry.”
Patrice Chazerand, Secretary General of European Videogames Federation ISFE welcomed the raids stating, “The Finnish authorities should be commended for their decisive action in protecting the creative industries from those who seek to steal the end result of their investment and innovation.”For further information contact:
Adrin Strain, IFPI London