After years of court dates and wasted man hours, the Dutch Department of Justice has finally lost its criminal case against ShareConnector. The popular peer to peer file indexing site was unexpectedly raided in 2004, with the site’s founder facing numerous civil and criminal legal charges.
Although the site’s operator, aDi, won a criminal case in 2007 and was cleared, the Dutch government filed an immediate appeal. In 2009, aDi and the site’s founders were accused of being involved in a criminal organization, and the case moved onward against aDi and six others.
In July, P2P fans rejoiced when it was learned the Dutch court wanted to speak with prosecutors about the case. Months later, the file sharing case has finally been dropped against the popular online file sharing resource.
The government’s reliance on the BREIN anti-piracy group angered the court, especially since Dutch investigators didn’t follow up with their own additional research. The government was unable to sufficiently prove ShareConnector helped others infringe copyright, with no criminal element discovered.
“It’s incredible that it took the court six years and numerous trials to conclude that the allegations from BREIN should not be taken seriously. It was a setup from the very beginning since the deaf from BREIN didn’t want to play clean and instead used the blind dogs from the Department of Justice”, aDi told TorrentFreak during a recent interview. “This is a victory – for now and for the future.”
Copyright groups and lawyers may target individual file sharers, but federal governments have focused on organized criminals, major piracy groups, and torrent website operators. The actual success of these civil and criminal cases depend upon the collected evidence, the actions of the site admins and others involved.
Further crackdowns against torrent operators and others expected of operating organized pirating rings will continue in 2011, with the FBI and ICE leading many efforts in the US.