Man arrested as part of pre-release music uploading investigation
22nd June 2009
A 33 year-old man believed to have links with a group leaking pre-release music on to file-sharing networks was arrested in Portsmouth on Tuesday, June 16, following a joint enquiry by BPI and IFPI, representing the recording industry in the UK and internationally, in conjunction with the City of London Police and the Intellectual Property Office.
The release group, DV8, are believed to be responsible for leaking in excess of 2,500 titles, including content from both major and independent labels. The investigation has already recovered a substantial quantity of promotional CDs, and computer equipment including an active FTP server and client and software used in connection with ripping and digitising content.
Pre-release leaks are considered the most damaging form of internet piracy, with this activity disrupting marketing and promotional campaigns and robbing artists and producers of a fair reward for their work. So-called 'release groups' exist to illegally upload music onto the internet at the earliest possible date using powerful computer servers known as 'topsites'.
David Lammy MP, Minister of State for Intellectual Property, said: "This successful operation sends a clear message - we are serious about tackling the problem of Intellectual Property theft. This is an example of partnership working between the Intellectual Property Office and the BPI and IFPI. It clearly shows the added value that our work is bringing to the wider enforcement community. I want to ensure that consumers, legitimate businesses and their employees are protected from those that choose to break the law."
David Wood, Director of Anti-Piracy at the BPI, commented: "Although the investigation continues, even at this early stage we believe that a full forensic examination of the equipment recovered will yield a lot of useful evidence and intelligence about the 'scene' and the criminal activities of those involved in pre-release music uploading."
Jeremy Banks, Head of IFPI's Internet Anti-Piracy Unit added: "This police action has led to the disruption of two notorious release groups that were responsible for leaking high-profile releases onto the internet. We are also currently observing a significant drop in activity from other release groups as they pick up news of the arrest."
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