Today, after almost a year, the OiNK investigation came to an end. Earlier today we reported that OiNK administrator Alan Ellis was charged with “conspiracy to defraud”. Now, just hours later the alleged uploaders are charged with copyright infringement for uploading one CD.
This May, five men and one woman were arrested for sharing music on OiNK. The suspects were taken in for questioning, and required to provide DNA samples and fingerprints.
Two months later, two of the six alleged uploaders were released from further investigation, but (at least) two of the remaining four have been charged today. The alleged uploaders were charged with copyright infringement for uploading one CD. The “conspiracy to defraud” accusations vanished, as they were not mentioned.
The case(s) will be heard in two weeks at a Magistrates Court, after which there is a possibility that it will be passed onto a Crown court. TorrentFreak had the chance to talk to one of the charged uploaders. “I think it’s a sledgehammer to crack a walnut,” he said. The alleged uploader is convinced that he is being used to set an example.
It is indeed strange that thousands of UK residents get off with a friendly warning letter from their ISP, while the four OiNK uploaders are being charged for doing exactly the same thing. The fact that it is only one CD makes the case even more bizarre.
OiNK was one of the largest private BitTorrent trackers, hosting hundreds and thousands of torrents. The site was shut down in a joint effort by Dutch and British law enforcement in October 2007, based on intel from the IFPI and the BPI, two well known anti-piracy organizations.
The police have yet to release an official statement, so more details about the charges may come available in the coming days. Until then, the BPI told us they can not comment on the case.
Early report, more information might be added