BitShare Hits Back at Police ‘Kinox’ Allegations

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Police in Germany are closely connecting BitShare with the on-the-run admins of streaming portal Kinox, but the site's CEO informs TF that police haven't even spoken with him. As U.S. authorities are called upon to start shutting down BitShare and Freakshare servers, the lawyer for the 'Kinox' fugitives says he's perplexed by the situation.

bitshareLast week a quite extraordinary drama unfolded in Germany. Local police announced that they had carried out raids in several areas of the country with the aim of netting the operators of movie site Kinox.to.

Police did make two arrests but their main targets, two brothers said to be the founders of Kinox, remain at large. Subsequently police upped the ante by taking the unusual step of naming the pair and launching an international manhunt.

Ever since news broke that the pair were being pursued, police, the attorney general, and local piracy outfit GVU have linked the brothers to a string of other file-sharing related sites. Among them are streaming portal Movie4K and file-hosting sites BitShare and FreakShare.

All sites mentioned by the police remain operational. However, the anti-piracy group responsible for the investigations now wants something done about that.

GVU director Dr. Matthias Leonardy claims that BitShare receives 1.5 million users per day and FreakShare 750,000. Continuing with his fiery rhetoric, Leonardy says the sites operate from datacenters in the United States so GVU now requires international assistance to shut them down.

“This is by far the most serious case of organized economic crime with structurally infringing online services in Germany. The current case clearly shows that the illegal exploitation of creative content on the net is now firmly in the hands of criminals,” Leonardy says.

But while GVU and the police appear acutely interested in these sites, when TorrentFreak spoke to BitShare just before the weekend, we were given a different picture. Mark Girak, the site’s CEO, who was clearly annoyed at being associated with the mounting chaos. He agreed to answer some questions to put his side of the story.

Firstly, we asked Girak if anti-piracy outfit GVU or the police had ever been in contact with BitShare over the Kinox situation.

“GVU never contacted us, nor did the police or any other company,” Girak said. “They are just putting our name everywhere and trying to make life hard for us. They are completely ignoring our brand and our company.”

We then asked Girak if BitShare had any historical links with Kinox or its operators, and if so, to explain their nature.

“We never had any contact with Kinox guys, they were once affiliates of us, but since two years they have not been using our website at all,” Girak said. “Our site is most probably being linked to that website because we offer a streaming feature for some of our users.”

Finally, we asked Girak if BitShare has any pending legal problems in respect of Kinox or any other copyright matter. The answer was a clear “no”.

And Girak isn’t the only one with doubts over the way the case is being presented by the authorities in Germany. The alleged ‘Kinox Brothers’, Kastriot and Kreshnik Selimi, are being portrayed as violent and rich individuals at every opportunity, but speaking to local media their lawyer questioned the allegations.

“There is no evidence that the pair are dangerous,” said Stefan Tripmaker.

“The family lives modestly and both brothers were still living in the rooms they had as children [at their parents’ house]. It is a mystery to me where the money could be.”

So all eyes now turn to the United States {if GVU is correct} to see whether something will be done there. In the meantime the controversy – and apparent mystery – continues.

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