Illegal download portal shut down after authorities conduct nationwide raids

Croak

Illegal download portal shut down after authorities conduct nationwide raids

File photo: DPA.

After raids which took place in 13 German states on Wednesday and Thursday in an investigation into an illegal download portal, authorities have blocked usenetrevolution.info - a platform that is believed to have caused millions of euros in losses.

During the raids which took place across the country, the apartments of 42 suspects were searched and the servers in the suspects’ homes were shut down, the attorney general's office in Frankfurt said on Friday.

Pirated copies of films, music, computer games, software and e-books which were distributed via the German-language portal were also blocked in the crackdown. Authorities moreover confiscated numerous computers, data carriers and network technologies.

Usenetrevolution.info went offline on Wednesday.

Investigators believe a 49-year-old man from Hesse is one of the prime operators of the platform. According to authorities, he was supported by his 39-year-old wife and three middle-aged men from Hesse - four other people who are suspected of moderating the site.

The rest of the suspects are between the ages of 23 and 72, according to a police report.

A total of 27,000 members had recently downloaded illegal content from usenetrevolution.info.

As a result, the public prosecutor's office in Frankfurt report that copyright owners are expected to have incurred losses of at least €2.9 million. Current investigations are being conducted on the grounds of the unauthorized commercial exploitation of copyrighted material.

A few of the portal’s servers were reportedly located outside of Germany as well. With the help of the state criminal police office in Hesse, two servers - one located in the Netherlands and another in France - were also shut down.