Police Seize 200 Computers in Anti-Piracy Raid

Law enforcement agencies in 11 countries have seized 200 computers in raids on piracy networks around the world. No arrests have been made yet, but charges are expected to be brought.

The 120 synchronised raids were targeted at illegal operations in 27 US states and also in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, the Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden and the UK. The raided groups are suspected of distributing games and films as “warez”. The US Customs Department estimated (and we suspect this is a real finger in the air guess) that the 100 participants identified were responsible for 95% of all pirated material online. We think that is highly unlikely.

The raids, part of Operation Fastlink, were described by US Attorney General John Ashcroft as “the most far-reaching and aggressive enforcement action ever” against online piracy. Amongst the equipment seized were 30 file servers. Looks like someone won’t be downloading that copy of Half Life 2 they were hoping to.

John Malcolm, chief of antipiracy operations for the Motion Picture Association told the Associated Press: “Today is a good day for creative artists. Without copyright protection and enforcement, piracy will dramatically and deleteriously impact the future of the American film industry.”

ZDNet on the story

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?