In October 2007, Operation Ark Royal achieved its aims. OiNK, one of the biggest and probably the most prestigious tracker in the world, was shut down in a joint effort by British and Dutch law enforcement.
Site administrator Alan Ellis, 25, was arrested immediately and eventually charged with conspiracy to defraud.
Five others, who were arrested months later, were accused of uploading music to others via the site. They were charged with copyright infringement offenses.
Yesterday, all six appeared at Teesside Crown Court in the UK. Ellis faced a charge of conspiracy to defraud, while the others – Steven Diprose, 21, from Staines, London, James Garner, 19, from Winsford, Cheshire, Michael Myers, 34, of Brough in North Humberside, Mark Tugwell, 19, from Caister near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk and Matthew Wyatt, 19, a student in London but originally from Stamford, Lincolnshire – all faced charges of copyright infringement.
Ellis did not enter a plea, and his case has been adjourned until 23 March 2009. The five uploaders entered pleas, and their hearing will continue at a later stage. All five uploaders were accused of making music albums available on OiNK, and according to insider information, at least four of them pleaded guilty.