11:24 | Tuesday July 29, 2008
By Ben Cardew
Colombo-BT.org, the largest BitTorrent tracker site in Italy, has been closed down.
The site was run by three Italian men, who have been charged with infringing copyright law and face potential prison terms of up to three years and heavy fines.
The operation, which helped users find and exchange the computer files they want on peer-to-peer networks, was funded by accepting online donations from users.
Italian police, who worked alongside IFPI-associated Italian anti-music piracy group FPM on the case, closed the service, seizing computers and freezing two bank accounts.
FPM president Enzo Mazza compared the site to notorious filesharing service The Pirate Bay. “Colombo-BT.org was Italy’s version of The Pirate Bay,” he says.
“Its operators deliberately facilitated availability of copyright infringing content to line their own pockets. The gang of three now face potential prison sentences and hefty fines as a result of their activities. This police action sends a strong message that Italy will not tolerate serious online music piracy so criminals looking for get rich quick schemes should consider other options.”