SOCA takedown pulls no punches

March 2012

Internet , the British music blog that posted, amongst other things, links to unlicensed music files, has been shut down by the Serious Organised Crime Agency.  The website currently hosts a SOCA statement that says the UK government agency has taken control of the domain, and that the individuals behind the website have been “arrested for fraud”. The SOCA statement also notes: “The majority of music files that were available via this site were stolen from the artists. If you have downloaded music using this website you may have committed a criminal offence which carries a maximum penalty of up to ten years imprisonment and an unlimited fine under UK law”. The UK authorities’ previous criminal action against a similar website, Oink, was unsuccessful.  The arrests are not under the Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988, but appear to be for the criminal charge of conspiracy to defraud.

The SOCA ‘takeover’ is quite bizarre actually. I would never have thought a UK court would imprison someone for 10 years for illegally downloading and when I went online to check the site today (after it was closed) and my own IP address was noted, dated and timed and the site states that “SOCA has the capability to monitor and investigate you, and can inform your internet service provider of these infringements” which is rather odd as I have never illegally downloaded anything – even more odd as the message goes on to say “You may be liable for prosecution and the fact that you have received this message does not preclude you from prosecution. As a result of illegal downloads young, emerging artists may have had their careers damaged. If you have illegally downloaded music you will have damaged the future of the music industry”. 

There is also a message “Visit for a list of legal music sites on the web”.

The notice was actually removed after less than 48 hours and replaced by the far less threatening “SOCA has taken control of this domain name. For further information visit:” and and

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