Europe Swoops In on Web Pirates

Servers shut down in 13 countries in file-sharing crackdown
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2010 9:01 AM CDT
Europe Swoops in on Web Pirates
Mikael Viborg, owner of the Web hosting company PRQ, stands outside the entrance to the basement where servers hosting Wikileaks are kept. Viborg says he was raided by five police officers yesterday.   (AP Photo /Fredrik Persson)

Police in 13 European countries have raided dozens of locations in an attempt to crush illegal file-sharing rings that distribute pirated movies and TV shows. A total of 48 servers were shut down, according to the BBC. Seven locations were raided in Sweden, including a university and the ISP believed to host WikiLeaks and the Pirate Bay, though authorities say the raids had nothing to do with either site.

Five arrests were made in Belgium where investigators say the suspects—who face charges including computer fraud and membership of a criminal organization—weren't trying to make money from piracy. "They are between 25 and 30 years old and they knew what they were doing," a police spokesman told the AP. "They have the notion that all has to be free." (More piracy stories.)

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