The UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency, part of the UK’s small national police force and a Home Office QUANGO, undertook a US Government style raid on the web site of rnbxclusive.com, which was reported by Techdirt in an article called “UK Now Seizing Music Blogs (With American Domains) Over Copy Right Claims”. The most startling part of this, for Brits, is the amazing splash screen factoids that greeted visitors to the site, which among other things states that the people behind the site have been arrested under suspicion of fraud, they know who you are (or more accurately, who your ISP is), the penalties for conspiracy to commit fraud and the quote below. The most startling part of this for Yanks and their law enforcement officers is that a foreign law enforcement agency can take down a .com i.e. a US site.
Glyn Moody in a an article called “Serious Organised Crime Agency Takes Down Music Site”, after talking to SOCA states that SOCA are pursuing enquiries to prove, to the point of arrest, that some, their notice said most, of the sound tracks previously available had been obtained pre-release by hacking. This is a crime under UK law and the copyright owners and licensees deserve the protection of the law, as the accused deserve a fair trial.
Arstechnia also comments in an article, entitled “Police: download a file, go to jail for 10 years and pay an “unlimited fine”. They clearly examine the notice and deconstruct the lies and disinformation. The notice includes statements about theft and the economic impact of the downloaders actions. i.e.
“As a result of illegal downloads young, emerging artists may have had their careers damaged. If you have illegally downloaded music from this site, you will have damaged the future of the music industry.”
It’s a disgrace that a law enforcement agency is publishing the BPI’s propaganda. The interests of a copyright licensors and the interests of artists are not synonymous!
Why are the police using our taxes to fund such bullshit? Why use British taxes to fund a free advert pointing at an american registered web site for so-called legal music? How much would that cost on google?
Innocent until proven guilty means that even the most egregious, industrial scale pirates are innocent until proven guilty.
Others have made the point that this notice may well prejudice any trial. I am also informed that the scary spyware doesn’t work with Mac or Chrome. Also IP addresses are private data under UK and European law, the use of the program code that displays the IP address requires a number of compliance actions. Perhaps I’ll check if SOCA registered this use of private data under the Data Protection Act.