back to article Copyright cops raid Filesoup admin

The British administrator of a former BitTorrent tracker site is out on police bail after his home was raided by police working with film industry investigators. The 50-year-old man, who can't be named, was arrested on suspicion of offences under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act last Monday by Avon and Somerset Police, …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Best thing would be to....

    keep quiet and say nothing at all. If they dont understand then how on earth are they going to build a case and on what basis did they arrest you if they did not understand whether you had committed an offence of not ?. They clearly wanted this guy to make the rope to hang himself.

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  3. Kay Tie


    .. how can FAST be allowed to do a criminal-level of forensic exam? It's like passing over to CND details of police assaults on demonstrators: hardly going to get an unbiased report back.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    RE: Best thing

    The police tactic may have been to play on an IT guys natural arrogance in the face of blatant stupidity, make wrong statement then wait for the suspect to peevishly correct them, another deliberately wrong comment from the copper, yet another "don't you guys understand". Rope indeed.

    Far better to deny the charges and no comment anything and everything, let them make all the mistakes and not correct there fallacious accusations for them and help them fine tune there case.

    Oh well he will now have had his DNA taken and entered into the Databases never to be removed for a computer crime (accused!)

  5. Anonymous Coward

    RE: Best thing would be to....

    They will charge you with anything if its copyright based. Too much money is paid for the investigations.

    What makes me wonder. Isnt copyright a civil matter. So shouldnt the police not even be involved?

    Funny how stupid they are too

  6. Anonymous Coward


    The post on the forum says

    "I was arrested, and taken to the local police station, on the way I asked and was told that it would take about a couple of hours, when I arrived, the booking-in charge was entered as:

    Suspicion of downloading copyrighted movies"

    So it means he is being he was arrested for downloading files. And not for running a bittorrent tracker.

  7. frank ly


    "According to the man, the seized items have been handed by police to FACT for computer forensics investigation."

    The police gave the 'evidence ' to a private organisation who stand to benefit from a successful prosecution?!?

    How on earth can they be allowed to do that and how could any supposed FACT findngs be believed in court?

    Note to the police: I accuse the FACT directors of using sneaky internet based methods to steal private and confidential files from my computer. Please arrest them, question them and confiscate their computers. Send their computers to me and I'll examine them to see if they contain copies of any of my private data files. If they do, I'll let you know.

  8. Adam 52 Silver badge


    Reading his account, it looks like someone at Avon and Somerset has been taken for a ride by FACT and the arresting officer didn't have a clue.

    Even so, this bit

    "the seized items have been handed by police to FACT for computer forensics investigation"

    is madness.


    Smart Guy ...

    ... Helping the police build their case against him like that.

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  11. Dennis
    Thumb Down

    Re: Best thing would be to....

    "keep quiet and say nothing"

    Maybe. But a jury may infer that silence is concealing a reply that would show guilt.

    Surely the better approach is to be cooperative and appear to answer questions while not actually saying anything incriminating. If the police fail to ask crucial questions then the case could founder. Once the police start to make factual or technical errors in their questions they risk losing control of the interview. If the suspect starts to lead the interview then the police could end up with hours of tapes and no information.


    Is this the same Avon and Somerset where the Chief Constable wouldn't give Jim Bates his disks back? Thought so.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why do I think this is BULL?

    Like I'm sure you need to explain to "FACT" how a BitTorrent site functions... Maybe you might need to explain to cops who are not trained in computer forensics, but not to those who will prosecute those who facilitate the illegal use and distribution of copyright protected works. The perp is trying to dupe the gullible.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    no title in case it's copyright

    Don't worry, in this case the police were simply subcontracting for FACT, who'll make the case for them and pass it back giftwrapped.

  14. Mike 61

    Actually the BEST thing to do

    would be to have your tracker software boxed and ready to run anywhere as a distributed application. On machine shutdown it erases all of it's data, on startup it tries to connect back to the network to pull its data and rebuild its database. Of course, in the case of stormtrooper action, it would have been blacklisted and would just a blank tracker with no peers and no data.

    So, why isn't there a P2P distributed torrent tracker, something owned and ran by no one and located nowhere?

    Oh, yes, and of course SAY NOTHING, except to your Lawyer.

  15. Mectron

    Trusted source

    SInce the FACT is funded by known criminals, why is the police illegaly searcxh a home without any proof of wrong doing? and why do they STOLEN computers equipents and then gave to a organisation (FACT) that is not legal use, credible or don;t have any right to investigate a computer thta do not beong to them?

    how much did the police was pay for act illegally like that?

  16. Wokstation

    "the seized items have been handed by police to FACT for computer forensics investigation"

    FACT are in a position to take criminal evidence for analysis? I thought that was a job for the Forensic Science Service.

  17. Anonymous Coward


    I looked at this :

    If true, this is really quite worrying.

    I don't ever trust the police after some of my dealings with them, I stay clear of them but the bit that worries me is this:

    "I was given a multi-paged document entitled:

    Notice of Excercise of Additional Powers of Seizure under Sections 50 or 51 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, which listed the same items as above. It gave this information for anyone wishing to make an application for the return of seized property in this case or an application to attend examination of seized property, should apply to:

    Neil Gardner

    Senior Investigator

    Federation Against Copyright Theft

    Europa House

    Church Street

    Old Isleworth


    TW7 6DA"

    Why is it that a company that is potientially biased to the ways of the private company can take and hold your personal equipment? After all this a limited (i.e private) company - i.e not publicly owned, this annoys me as what is to say that they don't fit you up. They could easily tamer with the so called evidence.

    Personally I think their should be publicly owned or is contracted to do it. I want a police force that I can trust, this shit is very gestapo like.

    It's like this country has looked at Nazi Germany or Russia under Stalin and said "we all aspire to be like them!!". I think the real reason for the crack down on peer to peer isn't so much the illegal copying. it's the freedom of information.

    I think governments don't like things which they cannot censor or is difficult to censor and the US companies don't like the fact people can download stuff and have a element of control over their lives.

    I think it will bite the hand that feeds it though - I was in a library today and looked at rent-able DVDs and albums and some of the artists I had never heard of, sure there were the popular big bands/artists but there were bands and artists I had never heard of - I thought I could download those but why bother?

  18. Anonymous Coward


    "According to the man, the seized items have been handed by police to FACT for computer forensics investigation."

  19. C-N

    re: If they dont understand then how on earth are they going to build a case

    Like this:

    I wonder if he floats...

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Fuck the motherfucking po-lice!

    Yeap, golden rule with the police: do not talk.

    Also, when they read you your rights, they will ask you if you understand. Under no circumstances agree that you understand your rights. Anything you say _cannot_ be used as evidence against you if you fail to understand your rights. The pigs will go blue in the face trying to explain, as they cannot do their job without you understanding.

    And unless you are a qualified solicitor, judge, barrister or QC then there is no way you actually speak "legalese", the bull-shit language that laws are written in. You might think you know what the words mean, but in the law books they can mean different things.

    Get legal advice, and only have counsel that will agree to tell you to not talk to the police. That way, if it goes to court you can blame your counsel for not talking, and the judge/jury will not be able to infer that you stayed shtum to be able to come up with an alibi, etc..

    Good luck to the guys in this story. The industries based on imaginary property are all a joke, and the sooner they die the better. Unfortunately there will be innocent people dragged down as they sink.

    Cue the IP apologists.....

  21. Anonymous Coward


    so which version of the site are they prosecuting him for?

    The original bittorrent tracker, or one of the several later incarnations?

    I think the article should make this clearer, as any bittorrent defence won't be valid if he is charged with one of the later incarnations....

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  23. Anonymous Coward

    That's funny...

    ... as we all know bittorrent trackers do not infringe copyright, and the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1998 does not even include the word "internet" so I fail to see how it could legislate on BT trackers.

  24. Anonymous Coward



    We all P

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @ Why do I think this is BULL?

    Even the police trained in computer forensics know very little about computers. I was caught up in Operation Ore, while I was being questioned, I had an officer who:

    a) Didn't know the difference between websites, newsgroups, FTP and email, he thought all of the internet was websites.

    b) Couldn't believe that people could post to newsgroups without using their real names and email addresses

    c) Didn't know how to play a video file off a CD inserted in his laptop.

    Once I got to court, the prosecution produced their "computer expert" witness, an officer from the Hi Tech Crimes Unit whose sole "computer expertise" was a 2 week course in the forensic software they used. He informed the court that:

    a) I was downloading porn from newsgroups over an ISDN2e line and burning it straight to CD, bypassing my hard drive, despite me only having a 4x non-BURNproof CD writer.

    b) I would put a search phrase into my newsgroup reader and it would go and search all the newsgroups on the internet and download all the files which matched that search phrase.

    AC for obvious reasons

  26. Shakje


    "how much did the police was pay for act illegally like that?"

    ********************OUT OF CHEESE ERROR*************************

  27. Mark 65


    This bit from wikipedia is of interest...

    "FACT has been accepted as a prosecution authority and engages in criminal prosecutions in its own right."

    Nice, real nice. When does the BPI's application get processed?

    999 Operator: "There's someone in your house with a knife? Sorry sir all our officers are out gathering up some geek's computer equipment as there's been a report he's got a pirate copy of pinball. Just hold on and we should have someone out to you in the next couple of hours."

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He won't be laughing in court

    You can bet he won't be laughing in court when they prosecute him.

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