15th February 2012 12:52
The "Copyright Cops" come to Britain.
SOCA seizes music blogging site
Visitors warned crime agency can "monitor and investigate you"
Loz Kaye – Pirate Party UK Leader:
The popular music blog RnBXclusive.com has been shut down by the Serious Organised Crime Agency. The site has been replaced with a warning stating that those behind the site have been arrested for fraud and that the majority of music files available via the site were "stolen" from artists. The warning also states that people who downloaded music using the website have committed criminal offences carrying penalties of up to 10 years in prison and unlimited fines.
Our first reaction was that this had to be a hoax; SOCA was founded to deal with offences such as major gun crime and people trafficking, British people will no doubt be worried by this change of priorities. It should not be the job of an agency created to deal with serious organised crime to be promoting the careers of 'emerging artists' however good a cause that may be. Nor does it seem appropriate for SOCA to be promoting pro-music.org or any specific industry group.
SOCA appear to have purposely avoided using either copyright law or statutory fraud law, and have instead relied on an old, common law offence, this shows their desperation to obtain any conviction and contempt for the laws Parliament have laid down.
The explicit threat to visitors of the site and take down notice is alarming. The claim that the information gathered can be used to identify visitors and their location, followed by a statement that SOCA has the capability to monitor, investigate and inform visitors internet service providers of apparent 'infringements', making visitors liable for prosecution seems extreme and unduly threatening.
This disappearance of this site leaves many questions. It would now appear that we have police-led site blocking in the UK. If so, what were the NewzBin2 cases for? Once again We urgently need clarification from SOCA- but also the Department of Culture Media and Sport.
The take down notice at rnbxclusive.com.
Pirate Party UK
+44 (0) 161 987 7880