Alleged Topsite Operator Charged With Mass Movie Piracy

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It's taken almost four years but a man alleged to be the former operator of a so-called piracy 'topsite' has now been charged. The man from Sweden is accused of making available 2,250 movies between 2009 and 2010. Rights Alliance is representing six major movie studios in the case.

pirate-cardAfter becoming almost synonymous with file-sharing and its connections with The Pirate Bay, Sweden began escalating its efforts to stamp out online piracy.

As a result, during the past several years many file-sharers were targeted by anti-piracy groups looking to send a message to the masses. And with government providing additional funding, increasingly police became involved in joint operations.

After a period of dealing with smaller cases, Swedish police have just charged a man for illegally making available large amounts of copyrighted material. According to their intellectual property division, the suspect “intentionally or by gross negligence” unlawfully made films available on 2,250 occasions.

The police add that the individual acted “in consultation or concert with other persons, supplied, installed, programmed, maintained, funded and otherwise administered and managed” the file-sharing network from where the infringements were carried out.

The charges are the result of an investigation initially carried out by Rights Alliance, the anti-piracy group previously known as Antipiratbyran. It’s been revealed they’re representing six major studios in the case, so the usual Hollywood giants will be directly involved.

Few additional details have been made public but after contacting lawyer Henrik Pontén at Rights Alliance, TorrentFreak has learned that the charges relate to a raid carried out in 2010 against “The Scene”, the collection of servers and individuals which inhabit the top of the so-called piracy pyramid.

The case involves a so-called ‘topsite’ known as ‘Devil’ which at the time was claimed to carry between 200 and 250 terabytes of media. During the raid, which according to Scene sources took place December 15, 2010, police seized a dozen servers and detained one person.

In press releases following the police action it was claimed that the man was responsible for the unauthorized distribution of “tens of thousands” of mainly Hollywood movies. Those estimates appear to have been rounded down.

An element of the case that remains a mystery for now surrounds the prosecution’s current claims that the man made the movies available “to the public”. Topsites tend not to deliberately distribute movies outside of their immediate circles for security reasons.

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