Piracy Landscape

German Authorities Close Skyload.net In Piracy Probe

Another file-hosting site linked to copyright infringement goes dark in Megaupload’s aftermath

On by Jiten Karia 0

Police in Germany have raided and taken down the cyberlocker Skyload.net, arresting the alleged owner and an individual who provided hosting services.

According to TorrentFreak and Heise Online, the action relates the file-hosting service to the movie streaming site Kino.to, which was closed last June in what was reported as one of the largest anti-piracy busts in history.

Pirates raided

The German Federation against Copyright Infringement (GVU) identified Skyload.net as part of Kino.to’s broad piracy ring, which operated in Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands, based on a report from Heise Online. The file-hosting site supposedly uploaded more than 10,000 films as part of Kino.to’s paid affiliate scheme. After it closed down, alternative portal names, including KinoX.to sprang up.

The arrests in Frankfurt are part of broader operation to clamp down on the portals that provided content to the streaming site. TorrentFreak claims that over a dozen arrests have been made since the initial June raids. Among those is Skyload.net’s alleged owner and operator Maik P., a 28-year-old held solely responsible for the 10,000 films uploaded.

The man arrested as the site’s supposed hosting provider is 25-year-old Marcel E., who is thought to have also hosted servers for movie streaming sites.

In October 2011, a web designer and administrator for Kino.to were sentenced to two and a half year and three year sentences respectively, a sign of the potential sentences the two men may face. Other individuals arrested in connected with Kino.to have cases pending.

Skyload.net’s closure is the latest piracy-affliated site to go dark this year after the voluntary closure of BTjunkie and the high-profile seizure of Megaupload. Yesterday, Kim Dotcom, the latter’s owner, was granted bail by a New Zealand court. His case against extradition to the US will be heard in August.

 

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