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Police shut down computer server in Prague

Czech police have shut down a computer server being used to illegally store and upload large amounts of copyright infringing music and film onto the internet.

The server was hosted at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Prague, though it was owned by a private legal entity, and was used to power the topsite 'BA' or 'blind alley'. Topsites are websites used by groups of users known as "release groups" to leak pre-release music onto the internet.

Police discovered that the server contained an estimated four terabytes of copyright infringing music, film, games and software and was connected to the internet by a fast one gigabyte line to enable the material to be distributed quickly and efficiently. This makes it one of the most powerful servers ever closed in police action. The topsite was used by several "release groups."

The police raid followed an investigation by local and international anti-piracy experts from IFPI. The industry anti-piracy experts gathered evidence of the infringement being facilitated by the server and made a criminal complaint. The police were able to verify the evidence, acquire a warrant from the public prosecutor and conduct a raid within 10 days.

Story filed 04.05.08

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