Demonoid ‘Operator’ Released From Jail, Case Stalled

The demise of Demonoid has been cited as one of the main victories against online piracy in 2012, but the case against those responsible for the site is reportedly stagnating. According to new information an alleged operator of Demonoid has been released from jail and criminal proceedings have been halted. The small amount of information that is available comes from U.S. copyright holders who are keeping a close eye on developments.

demonoidAugust last year the popular BitTorrent tracker Demonoid had its servers taken down by Ukrainian hosting company Colocall.

Local authorities explained that Interpol requested them to take action as part of a criminal investigation into the site’s alleged owners in Mexico.

Months earlier Mexican authorities conducted raids in Monterrey, the capital city of the northeastern state of Nuevo León. Their prime target was a Demonoid operator and one person connected to the BitTorrent tracker was later imprisoned.

Aside from a small notice mentioning the raids, Mexican authorities haven’t released any updates on the proceedings. According to IIPA, the umbrella organization for copyright groups including the MPAA and RIAA, there’s very little progress as the case has been stalled.

In their annual submission to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Special 301 Review the groups give a brief update on the case, which aside from Mexico and Ukraine now also involves Panama.

“IIPA and its members are closely following the progress of the criminal case in Mexico, Ukraine and Panama, and hope that a proper criminal investigation will quickly commence and proceed accordingly,” IIPA writes.

The exact nature of the Panama connection is not mentioned, but the country is a popular destination for offshore banking.

Later on, IIPA notes that the alleged operator of Demonoid has already been released from jail. It’s unclear why, but the copyright holders mention that the case has stalled which could mean that there’s not enough evidence to continue.

“As noted, BitTorrent tracker demonoid.me was taken down with the cooperation of the Mexican authorities. Unfortunately, the criminal case against the operators of the service has stalled: the main operator of the service was initially imprisoned and materials used in the service were seized, but the operator of the service was subsequently released,” IIPA writes.

For how long the alleged Demonoid operator was imprisoned is not mentioned. However, the criminal case is ongoing according to the copyright holders, who further mention that it’s now proceeding in Ukraine.

Again, the details are scarce and it’s unclear what the authorities are looking into at this point.

Demonoid, meanwhile, has moved to Hong Kong where it found a new hosting company and a new .HK domain name. Whether the BitTorrent tracker will ever return to its full glory has yet to be seen.

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