After a few days of no comment, the actors behind the raid and closure of Demonoid have stepped forward. The IFPI and Interpol say they worked together with the Attorney General of Mexico and Ukrainian police to shutter the popular file-sharing service. In addition to equipment seized in Ukraine, they have now confirmed “a number of arrests” and seizures of assets in Mexico.
Earlier this week it became evident that after the popular BitTorrent tracker Demonoid had suffered a DDoS and hacker attack, it ultimately had bigger things to worry about.
Sergei Burlakov of Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said that following a request from Interpol, Ukrainian government investigators had arrived at Demonoid’s hosting provider ColoCall and had the site taken offline. ColoCall said that ultimately the decision to remove the site had been theirs.
Until now, information on the raid has only come from Ukraine, prompting some to question why the music and movie industries have remained silent on such a prominent takedown. The wait for that is now over. The IFPI said their complaints have finally delivered results.
“Demonoid was a leading global player in digital music piracy which acted as unfair competition to the more than 500 licensed digital music services that offer great value music to consumers while respecting the rights of artists, songwriters and record companies,” the IFPI’s anti-piracy director Jeremy Banks said in a statement.
“The operation to close Demonoid was a great example of international cooperation to tackle a service that was facilitating the illegal distribution of music on a vast scale. I would like to thank all those officers involved in this operation to close a business that was built on the abuse of other people’s rights.”
As detailed in our article last evening, there have been clear links to Mexico at several stages of the operation to take down Demonoid. Today those links have only been further underlined.
We already knew that Mexican authorities had launched a criminal investigation into the owners of Demonoid and that the Attorney General of Mexico had become involved in the case last year, but today it was confirmed that there have been a number of arrests and asset seizures in the country.
John Newton head of INTERPOL’s Trafficking in Illicit Goods Sub-Directorate said that international cooperation is key to ensuring that “organized criminals” are stopped.
“In this instance police forces on different sides of the world worked together with INTERPOL and the music industry to successfully disrupt the distribution chain for illicit digital music products,” he said.
Since many Demonoid members are worried that they may be at risk TorrentFreak asked IFPI whether any users are or will be targeted. However, the group told us that they can’t comment any further on an ongoing investigation.
In the meantime and in retaliation for the raids on Demonoid, elements of the Anonymous collective have launched a number of DDoS attacks on websites operated by the Ukrainian authorities. But a member of the group said that they may go much further, if they can get their hands on the site’s code.
“By getting the .torrent files and website [we would be able to reinforce] Demonoid’s mark on history with a permanent mirror arrangement,” he told TorrentFreak.