The Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN claims to have taken down 75 BitTorrent trackers today. Although most of the sites were relatively small and private communities, together they had more than half a million registered users. This is the first time that so many sites have been taken offline at once.
The trackers that were taken down were all aimed at Dutch users, including Allmypower.org, Luckytorrents, Allmymovies, Digi-tor.org and Seederstor.org. BREIN claims that the sites were part of an organized piracy ring, and plans to report them to the FIOD-ECD – the Fiscal Investigation Unit of the Dutch Police.
FIOD-ECD is dedicated to chasing down people alleged to be involved in fiscal, financial and economic fraud – usually major criminals. What evidence BREIN has against these alleged ‘criminal organizations’ is unknown. Similar to the OiNK case, the user donation models that most sites operated are being seen as money making schemes.
“This is clearly an organization that aims to make money illegally, with a chain of smaller sites that aims to systematically steal the creative work of others,” Tim Kuik, managing director of BREIN commented. He further said that the people who are responsible for the sites will be held accountable for the damages copyright holders suffered.
This is not the first time that BREIN has alleged that a P2P site has been involved in organized crime, the same thing happened before with Releases4U and ShareConnector cases. The FIOD-ECD failed to provide any evidence to prove ShareConnector was facilitating copyright infringement nor enough to prove that either organization was criminal in nature.
At first glance this seems to be a huge victory for BREIN, but the whole takedown operation probably took only one email. From the looks of it, the sites were all hosted at amenworld.com. The webhosting company, which cooperated with BREIN before, is likely to have responded to a takedown request, pulling the sites offline all at once.
Whether the sites will remain offline is unknown at the moment. Only last week BREIN managed to take the Bulgarian tracker RARBG offline. This turned out to be a short term success, as the site reappeared on a Swedish server only two days later. It’s hard to kill a hydra.