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.”