During October 2007, the popular BitTorrent tracker OiNK was shut down in a joint effort by Dutch and British law enforcement. Four users of the popular BitTorrent tracker have already been sentenced to community service, fines and payment of court costs, but the trial of admin Alan Ellis has now been moved to 2010.
Possibly due to a press blackout, details on the proceedings in the court cases against the OiNK users and admin have been very thin on the ground. Earlier this year we managed to discover that four people who shared music via the tracker barely escaped with their freedom.
The individuals were charged with copyright infringement and sentenced to fines and community service, rather than custodial sentences the prosecution had been pushing for.
Steven Diprose was sentenced to 180 hours community service, and ordered to pay £378 in Court costs. Michael Myers was told to pay a £500 fine. Mark Tugwell has to undertake 100 hours community service and pay £378 Court costs. The fourth uploader, James Garner was sentenced to 50 hours community service and also has to pay £378 Court costs.
What remains are the cases against one other uploader and Alan Ellis, the administrator of OiNK. Unlike other file-sharing related cases, the charges against Ellis are not related to copyright offenses. Instead, he has been charged with “conspiracy to defraud”.
Ellis’ case was scheduled to be heard today at the Teesside Crown Court, but the session didn’t last long as the trial was postponed till January 2010. Due to the press blackout, TorrentFreak was unable to find out whether a reason has been given for the delay.
The OiNK shutdown was an international operation. Codenamed “Operation Ark Royal”, it involved co-ordinated action by both British and Dutch police forces. IFPI and the BPI, two well known anti-piracy organizations, allegedly assisted in gathering the ‘evidence’ that led to the arrests.
The tracker – which served some 180,000 users including NiN frontman Trent Reznor – was shut down but several replacements took over including Waffles.fm and What.cd. The latter developed a community of nearly 100,000 members and recently celebrated the upload of the 500,000th torrent.