back to article UK crime-busters knock hiphop site off the Internet

The UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has moved on a popular hip-hop news and track-exchange site, RnB Xclusive, and is threatening those trying to access the site with criminal investigation. The site, described by TorrentFreak as a popular blog posting news, commentary and links to music, has been seized by SOCA and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like SOCA are doing a fine job of fighting serious crime and protecting the public.

    1. Jedit Silver badge


      ... they just rounded up a bunch of gangstas!

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. a33a

    "SOCA has the capability to monitor and investigate you, and can inform your internet service provider of these infringements."

    Jesus Christ, talk about scare mongering. The IP info and access time table is just unnecessary. SOCA trying to imply they have powers (and laws) that they don't then?

    1. Arrrggghh-otron

      Don't forget to leave them a nice comment in their server log files... (as suggested on slashdot)


      Feel free to get creative...

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon


        Feel free to get creative...


      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ACS Law tried something similar with IP addresses, and the courts were really impressed by that.

      FFS they can't even cobble together a single web page without errors. Not very inspiring in what is supposed to be an "elite" police unit.

      1. Dr. Mouse

        For anyone who wants to leave them a message

        Assuming you are running Linux:

        Put your message, using only alphanumeric characters and spaces, into a file called socamessage, then run the following command:

        cat socamessage | sed -e 's/\s/_/g' | (while read L; do wget -O /dev/null "$L"; done)

        If you have a long message to send, it can be split over several lines.

        This will also anonymise, although only through a single proxy.

        My own just let them know my displeasure at the Serious Organised Crime Agency threatening to investgate the probably innocent visitors to the site, and asking why they don't have better things to do (like investigating SERIOUS ORGANISED crime)

        1. Arrrggghh-otron

          Communications Act 2003?

          I've just realised that it isn't just me that thinks the message displayed is threatening, and I had never been to or heard of the site before today...

          Does this mean that the CPS will be prosecuting whoever at SOCA was responsible for the threatening web page? I mean if it works for a twitter joke with no intent then why not this? Or is a threat to enforce legal powers that (I'm told) doesn't exist, exempt it from being threatening?

    3. Danny 5


      I checked out the site just for that purpose, being Dutch myself, my check poisons their results.

      Let's all check them out!

      I'd like to see them investigate me :)

      why can't the rest of the world do what we do? downloading (movies and music) is legal here.

  3. Big O

    Priorities in check then

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FFS !

    SOCA try dealing with scrap metal theft, that's a SERIOUS ORGANISED CRIME PROBLEM !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That, and that every farm, inside a 50 mile radius of my current location, has had some sort of heavy machinery stolen (we're talking tractors and jbc's.. 100k+ items), in the last 8 months.. but crack on guys, go find the software and entermaint pirates.. nevermind that we have 3 or 4 civilain patrols, circling our farms and industrial areas, with not a word from the local cops.... and god help anyone they stop that looks a bit suspicious...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Similarly fuel theft. Just about every transport firm and building site round here has been targeted.

      A pair of lads came unstuck one night at a local lorry park though when they got spotted by a driver having a kip in his cab.

      I gather they had a pretty sophisticated set up - a transit van full of drums and electric pumps.

      According to one of the drivers they got a "severe kicking" and their van trashed. He said they didn't bother involving telling the police as they would have turned up far too late and charged the drivers with assault.

      These lads were well known locally for selling cheap diesel, so it probably wouldn't have been the hardest crime to investigate.

    3. teebie

      Or just...crime, in general?

      Instead of matters of civil law

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Record Companies Paying Police ?

    Seems like Virgin were paying the police:

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sad really, when Robert Peel invented the police force, it was this exact sort of behaviour he was trying to wipe out. Peel's police men were assembled to replace the ad-hoc city guards and watchmen, who were usually beholden to the local magistrate and were generally a bunch of bullyboys and criminals, who would gladly take payment to lock up people for being in some rich idiot's bad books.

      Full circle...

    2. ACx

      Virgin? The biggest distributors of illegal files in the UK? Well, that takes some balls. We realise they actually host pirated files for free distribution, right?

      No, Im not substantiating that, but any one who thinks about VM and its services should suss what is insanely wrong here.

  6. Christoph

    Expect a whole load of faked links directing people to that site and getting them on the police records. How are little old ladies going to react when they see that kind of threat when they were looking for pictures of fluffy cats?

    1. cosymart

      Think of the children

      And dirty old men looking for fluffy pussy's.

      1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

        *BANG* A Quantum Leap style flashback to 70's TV and there, right at the forefront of my memory, Molly Sugden's bizarre pastel coloured rinse!

        Thanks a lot! It took years to shift the horrendous chimera images of pussies and Molly Sugden, now they're back in a flash!

  7. Dazzz

    Well now they have my IP address, hope they have fun with all the ones they are collecting :-)

  8. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    SOCA? Really?

    So what's the reference to doing on the page? Is UK law enforcement in the habit of shilling for special interest groups?

    Given the language and that strange reference, I'm thinking that this might be a fake.

    1. huwOS

      One would think so, but it isn't.

      SOCA press office confirmed it was genuine.

      1. Eddie Edwards

        Yeah, the "SOCA press office confirms genuine" meme is on Slashdot too. So who called them? I'm not seeing an actual *quote* from the SOCA press office in this story, or anywhere else.

        This is so obviously a hoax I can't believe people are giving it the time of day. SOCA wittering on about young musician's rights? "Fraud" in the first place (for a link site)? "Recordings stolen from the artists"? Stolen? I thought it was fraud? And then "visit". Please. This is a blatant troll. And boy did it work well.

        People of the internet, turn your bullshit filters back on.

        1. Eddie Edwards

          Wow, I was wrong, this is real. Apparently SOCA have become internet trolls.

          Better take my bullshit filters in for realignment. You think you understand the world and then something like this happens.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was aware that 'making available', ie uploading it was a naughty (thought it was only a civil offence though), and probably running a website knowingly hosting copyrighted material is probably a bit dubious.

    Is downloading a file from a website a criminal offence?

    1. Paul_Murphy

      >Is downloading a file from a website a criminal offence?

      My understanding is no, but making a copy-right protected file available for others to download is.

      Of course others such as Cory Doctorow and Jonathon Coulton or Woodie Guthrie have no issues with their files being spread far and wide since it means more fans.

      I wonder how long before the mafRIAA try to get downloading a file to be a crime though - you can bet they want it to be.


      1. Jedit Silver badge

        Woody Guthrie?

        I'm sure he hasn't complained about his files being spread far and wide, but I equally doubt he's voiced his support either - what with him having been dead for going on sixty years, and all.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Woody Guthrie?

          While I expect SOCA would want to bang up his boy for what he might have brought into Los Angeles, where their spiritual home would appear to be.

    2. Vic

      > Is downloading a file from a website a criminal offence?

      It can be.

      The notorious section 107 of CDPA88 turns copyright infringement into a criminal offence if it is performed in a commercial context.

      Quote why SOCA is wasting valuable resources investigating civil infringements is beyond me, though.


  10. Keep Refrigerated


    This take-down notice looks like it was written by a 12 year old. No reference even to the statute upon which the site was taken down? Some vague statement about young penniless artists.

    What's the betting that the site owner is going to be released and charges dropped after a real judge looks into this? The only thing that surprises me is its not accompanied by a press release to The Sun that the site owner may have child porn stored on his servers.

    Really, this just makes SOCA look like amateur stooges hired by the MAFIAA. Not professional at all. But I suppose theres no danger of Tony Blair writing a letter to drop the investigation here, is there?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tony Blair?

      1. The Original Cactus

        IIRC, when he was PM Tony Blair asked SOCA to kindly please stop investigating bribes allegedly paid to BAE by Saudi princes, in the interests of national security. SOCA complied.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I remember that now.

          National security you say, sir.

          Of course, sir.

          Can I stand up straight now, sir?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm concerned that even the fusking police think that the songs were "stolen" from the artists. I'm even more concerned that, despite this apparent grand-scale theft of songs, there is still a metric shit-tonne of mass-produced, lowest common denominator, well, shit being pushed out by "artists" every day. You'd think they'd be locking up their songs in bank safes to prevent this kind of crime happening (coincidently also preventing the crime of these songs being inflicted on the general public).

    1. WonkoTheSane

      Title goes where?

      "mass-produced, lowest common denominator, well, shit being pushed out by "artists" every day"

      Or "Complete & utter Cowell" as I like to call it.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like BS to me

    As others have noted, the text looks like it was written by someone quite young. Aside from that, the nameservers never changed, so it's still with rackspace.

    Look at every site that the UK/US government have taken over in the past and you'll note that they redirect the nameservers, and THAT is how they "take over" the website.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    lets have fun

    Everyone hammer the site from as many Ip address you can and confuse the shit out of them.

  14. kain preacher

    Odd thought

    It's dot com site hosted by go daddy , Could go daddy just say see you when you come to America and serve us ?

  15. irish donkey

    SOCA Crime Figures

    Last year we solved 1 million crimes. Give us all a bonus please.

    One million downloads stopped. = 1 million crimes solved.

    Never mind the low level crime like car theft, scrap metal theft, low level fraud, pissed teenagers kicking off, child abuse, wife beating and MegaCorp tax fraud. You know the stuff the that really pisses people off

    SOCA because we go after the real criminals.

  16. mitch 4

    Web Standards

    Well for one they don't follow web standards. The new "SOCA" site is littered with errors, some of them don't even make syntactic sense.

    I would think if they are going be posting professional messags about how they can trace you they could at least make a attempt to look professional and do things right.

    1. Andrew 59


      Well done... Now they've got to investigate :)

      1. Miek

        and too ;)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: lol

        i feel it is my civic duty to ensure govt websites are accessible by the disabled...

  17. FatBloke


    Just waiting for Anonymous to fire up...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Straight Outta Suffolk

    It's true, there is an epidemic of agricultural machinery theft. Where I live pieces of machinery & fuel is regularly stolen (sometimes from inside secure areas- thieves will cut through locks easily enough). Only at the end of last year our family farm had a load of spare parts taken from a shed to the value of £6000 for scrap. No-one saw anything. The police never seem to catch anyone or bother to investigate (the some of the thieves are probably from outside the local area).

    1. Tegne
      Black Helicopters

      The level of police interest depends on the area

      My wife works for a vehicle tracking company who regularly assist a number of police forces around the UK who set up tracked honey traps for Farm and Industrial machinery.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I really don't think this is genuine.

    "The majority of music files that were available via this site were stolen from the artists."

    I can't see SOCA making this absolute statement no crime has been proven and copyright infringement is not theft. surely SOCA would know this.

    " If you have downloaded music using this website you may have committed a criminal offence which carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine under UK law.

    Utterly untrue.

    "SOCA has the capability to monitor and investigate you, and can inform your internet service provider of these infringements."

    Visiting a site proves nothing so this threat is baseless and surely no government organisation would say something so ridiculous.. Also WTF is my ISP supposed to do?

    "You may be liable for prosecution and the fact that you have received this message does not preclude you from prosecution."

    Another baseless threat straight out of the TV licensing's playbook.

    "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.

    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.

    Visit for a list of legal music sites on the web."

    Blatant MPAA style propaganda and an advert for an industry website?

    Please don't make me laugh.

    1. huwOS

      The language is really unlike anything you'd expect from law enforcement.

      However, I phone the SOCA press office yesterday evening, which I shouldn't have done as they really only want the press using that number, there is another number for the general public.

      Nonetheless, they did confirm to me that the warning page on rnbxclusive was genuine.

      So how about them apples.

      SOCA apparently works for the IFPI now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Thanks for the heads up.

        Then I am gobsmacked that my taxes go to support such outright lies and threats not to mention paying the salaries of utter morons.

  20. Rentaguru

    well if that's what uk policing has sunk to then time has come to stop pissing on them when they are on fire.

    Did you know it was the police not liverpool fans who pillaged the dead at Hillsborough (for my sins I reviewed the files of Hammond suddards the solicitors who advised south yorkshire police at the enquiry)?

    imo police are no longer public servants but our enemies

    1. Kevin Fairhurst

      Way off topic...

      ...but this is why a proper enquiry is needed. There have been too many knee jerk cover ups to screw justice and protect those who are meant to be our servants...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "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."

    Nah - it's OK mate - I uploaded far more than I downloaded so I think we're quits OK?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Love it!

      Your sins are forgiven :D

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Oh excellent..

    Less of that tone deaf drivel i have to download!!!

    Suite me Sir...

  23. h 2

    Wrong IP

    Ho Hum it lists my companies gateway and not me :)

    1. Miek

      I assume your company keeps logs of the traffic that enters and leaves the gateway?

      Anonymity Fail.

  24. h 2 ??

    Fails a DNS lookup, so I assume this means there isn't a list of real music websites

  25. Rab Sssss

    enjoy monitoring mine as well assholes

    see title...

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seriously?OCA, that would be one of the funniest targets for Anonymouses i have yet seen... particularly like the way you have to cut and paste their link at the arsend to 'legal' sites!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can they not do anything more serious

    And arrest all the chavs that listen to RnB?

  28. Paul_Murphy

    Loads of html errors:

    Go here:

    put in the site:

    It's also interesting that the closest 'threat' to music piracy to be identified as one of SOCAs targets is ( intellectual property and there is no mention of music.

    As with others I feel that my taxes are not being well spent - metal thieves, as well as the more traditional crimes, are more relevant, not music piracy or terrorism.


  29. g e

    If you're going to buy a police unit

    Then there should be ample evidence that the crimes it solves produce a clear and direct benefit to the police's greatest paymaster.

    The bloody tax payer.

    I can see, indirectly, the value of car insurance fraud, but no way can I see the benefit from stopping a file of music downloading. Not like CD's, etc, will get cheaper because of it, or music get better.

    This smells dodgier than a bag of very dodgy things which have been stored in a warm cellar for 6 months.

    1. Ben Holmes

      'bag of dodgy things'

      ...or the contents of my fridge, as it is otherwise known.

      1. g e


        You do know you can plug those things into the electromatrickey and they get cold inside, right? :oD

        Pint for you (a cold one!)

  30. David 45


    Sounds like scaremongering in the extreme. Big brother is watching - yah, boo! My goodness, what a scary notice (not). Incredibly childish. Sounds like the SOCA has been taking lessons from the USA and their close-down of Megaupload. I fail to see how they can shut down a site before any due process has taken place. This is despicable. Just who, exactly, is behind this?

  31. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Have the owners of the site been charged with a crime and found guilty by a court?

    As if they haven't and the SOCA are saying that the songs ARE stolen and not allegedly stolen then they have just lost the prosecution the case as the police are not there to make judgement on if someone has stolen or not only a court can do that. A good lawyer will rip this case to shreds.

    Maybe the sysadmin who put up the redirect page knew very well what he was doing ;-)

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Rap Artiste

    I'm so ashamed that I stole from you. You must have been devastated when I took your MP3. Having grown to love your MP3, I can only imagine how hard it must have been for you to live without it.

    I can't live with myself any more, so I'm returning your MP3. In fact, to compensate for the misery I've caused, I'm sending it twice, so that you'll have a spare.

    I hope you and your MP3s will be very happy together. Me, I'll just have to manage somehow.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a matter of principal I have submitted a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority about their misleading and intimidating advertisement of the web-site.

    I would enncourage you to do the same.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I got this in response:

      Dear Mr xxxxxxx

      Thank you for contacting the ASA about a notice placed on a website by the Serious Organised Crime Agency. The CAP Code does not apply to “statutory, public, police and other official notices or information.” As this material falls within this category, we are not entitled to assess it further because it does not fall within the ASA’s remit.

      I hope this clarifies the matter for you and thank you for taking the time and trouble to contact us with your views. If you would like further information about the ASA, our website,, contains information about the ASA and the work we do, including the results of investigations into other complaints.

      Kind regards

      Taylor Meanwell

      Complaints Executive

      Advertising Standards Authority

      Mid City Place, 71 High Holborn

      London WC1V 6QT

      Telephone 020 7492 2222

  34. Purlieu

    Danny your a genius

    "... Dutch ... downloading (movies and music) is legal here"

    That's it .... M'Lud all these MP3 files and videos on my client's computer were downloaded during his recent visit to Netherlands


  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    10 Years inside for visting a web site, looks like threatening behaviour to me

    A person is guilty if he either

    a) uses towards another person threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or

    b) distributes to another person any writing or sign which is threatening, abusive or insulting

    I think the police should be called, as this must have threatened lots of people by now.

    I'm not even sure downloading anything is an offence in it's self, distrobution may be.

    Prats, hope this makes the major news outlets and has the piss taken out of it, over and over again.

    I guess it good that I don't have curly hair or and I am not stepping on the cracks in the pavement.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've just looked at the page and they confidently tell me that my IP address is

    Perhaps I also live in the USA, have $50 billion in the bank, and no first name. ("Please come with us Mr Google, sir..")

    Note to SOCA: the page looks much more scary [to my British eyes] translated into German, so how about substituting the one served up by Google translate.

    1. Irongut

      Looks pretty freaky in Korean! And they'll have to investigate Mr Kim Jong Bing. :p

  37. Crisp

    Oh come on!

    This isn't a criminal matter (or shouldn't be).

    It's not like they were printing out tickets to the artists gigs and selling them as if they were the real thing.

  38. MojoJojo


    Any confirmation apart from the website itself?

    Sounds too over the top to be genuine. Why tell people you're recording IP addresses. And I don't think SOCA have been involved in copyright take downs before, and it's hard to see how it fits into it's remit. Probably chosen because it sound like SOPA.

    Nothing on the SOCA website (although wouldn't necessarily be anyway).

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Hoax?

      Confirmed to The Reg newsdesk - and SOCA have arrested someone:

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please, anonymous, bot the hell out of this replacement page.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Anonymous are NOT your personal army.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        man it's been a long time since I last saw that rule.

  40. Robin Weston


    I see the previous fire and brimstone warning has been updated.

  41. Paul_Murphy

    The home page has changed now.

    No threats at all, maybe they have taken notice of the reaction.

  42. Arfur Smiff


    In a game of SOCA today Smisham FC beat Fuggles United 2-0

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