The OiNK servers that were raided in October have been returned to OiNK’s ISP. Strangely enough all the data, and thus the evidence, has been wiped. In addition, the bail date for OiNK admin Alan Ellis, who was arrested during the raid, has today been extended until the 4th of February 2008.
The initial bail date was December 21, it is not clear what the reason for the extension is, but it is likely that the police don’t have the strong evidence they would like to have.
In fact, the police returned the servers last week, not before deleting all the “evidence” that it held. The police made images of the servers, but it is doubtful if destroying OiNK’s property, and the original evidence is even legal.
The British and the Dutch police both contributed to what they named “Operation Ark Royal”, allegedly acting upon twisted information fed to them by the IFPI and the BPI, two well known anti-piracy organizations.
Among other things, the police claimed that OiNK was a money machine, and that Alan was making hundreds of thousands of pounds. However, everyone knows that OiNK was free to use and this fact was backed up by Trent Reznor, the frontman of Nine Inch Nails: “If OiNK cost anything, I would certainly have paid, but there isn’t the equivalent of that in the retail space right now.”
The IFPI and BPI did not only misinform the police, they also hijacked the OiNK.cd domain and displayed an ominous message indicating an investigation into the site’s users had begun. These propagandistic threats were supposed to scare former OiNK members, and they succeeded in this until OiNK reclaimed the domain.
What once was the best BitTorrent music tracker on the Internet is now gone and wont return. Although most of its members and releasing talent found a new homes by now, there is little doubt that the music industry will continue to alienate itself from their customers until they are dead and gone.
For those who want to help Alan out, there is an official OiNK legal defense fundraiser where money can be donated to cover the legal costs. If for some reason the money isn’t needed it will be donated to an animal charity. At this point it is still unclear what the charges against Alan will be, if there will be any at all.