UK anti-piracy group FACT has forced the shutdown of a 180,000-member Usenet indexing site. In recent days the Hollywood group visited a former admin of NZBsRus presenting a cease-and-desist letter which made their intentions clear. FACT not only threatened the former admin but also earmarked several staff members for legal action.
In 2011, the MPA became the first industry group to have a court rule that a site infringing their copyrights should be rendered inaccessible in the UK.
Usenet indexing site Newzbin2 was subsequently blocked by the UK’s leading ISPs, the first of many sites to suffer the same fate.
The Newzbin2 court ruling emboldened the Hollywood-funded Federation Against Copyright Theft to go after another Usenet-related site, NZBsRus.
The site was created in December 2004 using a modified torrent site script called TorrentStrike, but in September 2011 legal threats made towards the site’s host took the NZB indexer offline.
The effect was only temporary though and NZBsRus was soon back in business. It continued to operate until a few days ago, but it’s now clear that FACT weren’t going to give up so easily.
A source very close to the site who spoke with TorrentFreak on condition of anonymity says that in the past few days the movie studio-funded group really turned up the pressure on the 180,000 member site.
“FACT came to the door of a past admin of the site last week, handing over a cease & desist letter,” our source confirmed.
FACT investigators arrived at the property without assistance from police, something that seems to have been appreciated by their target.
“The FACT investigators were actually very nice in the way they handled things, as children were present. We also believe that police were not involved due to children being at the property,” our source explained.
FACT reportedly gave two options going forward. Either the site could be immediately shutdown bringing an end to the matter, or it could continue to operate with future legal consequences.
What was unusual about this threat is that rather than simply naming the site’s former admin, this time FACT also named other members of staff and extended the threats to them.
“Once FACT left, the former site admin contacted us, as he said he would to FACT, and passed on the information.
“After debating how we should proceed we decided that due to FACT now intruding on site staff as well as getting closer to us that it was now time to comply. The investigation to follow would be unfair to site staff plus we also have family and they are our priority,” our source explained.
In common with several earlier cases, FACT demanded that the NZBsRus domain name be handed over to the anti-piracy group. The site confirmed that they did not receive a police letter from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau as other sites have.
“To protect everyone involved with the site it’s with regret we say goodbye,” NZBsRus conclude.