Man accused of operating pirate music website OiNK in court

The Northern Echo: A police officer removes computer equipment from a flat in Grange Road, Middlesbrough, where a pirate file sharing operation, known as OiNK, was allegedly discovered A police officer removes computer equipment from a flat in Grange Road, Middlesbrough, where a pirate file sharing operation, known as OiNK, was allegedly discovered

THE TRIAL of a North-East man accused of being the administrator of one of the world’s largest illegal music file sharing websites was adjourned today.

Alan Ellis, 26, was arrested in 2007 as part of an Interpol-led operation to shut down Oink, a music file-sharing website which attracted around 180,000 members.

Computer equipment and documents were seized from his home in Middlesbrough in October 2007.

Eleven months later police charged him with conspiracy to commit fraud and copyright infringement.

Investigators said the Oink music sharing service was set up in 2004.

But Ellis, who worked at Virgin Media’s contact centre in Stockton, claims the website was not illegal and that investigators have misunderstood its purpose.

He has compared it to search engines such as Google which could also direct users to illegal music downloads.

Oink, which used a cartoon of a pink pig as its logo, was one of the world's most popular "peer-to-peer"

music download sites helping users share files and fostering an online community.

Music publishers and police have targeted peer-to-peer file sharing sites because they allow users to swap music for free.

According to users, Oink had a data throughput of two terrabytes every day - the equivalent of five million songs.

To become a member a music lover needed an invitation.

Once registered they could download five gigabytes of music (about 1,000 songs) without having to do anything more. A ratio system ensured that members had to make music available to the Oink community if they wanted to continue.

Members did not have to pay a fee. They could, however, make voluntary donations to keep the operation running.

The site had a huge database of music. It even operated a highly regarded request system.

Oink became so popular that eagerly anticipated albums were sometimes made available to members before they went on general release.

The technology used - a method known as BitTorrent file-sharing - broke files down into small chunks of data allowing the files to be distributed more efficiently.

Ellis’ trial at Middlesbrough Crown Court was adjourned until tomorrow for legal arguments.

Comments (2)

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10:07am Wed 6 Jan 10

brianhowes says...

Try telling your readers that there are reporting restrictions and what they are?

I can say with certainty that I was able to type in Google Moments ago the name of an artist and the the name name of a song and I had a list of places to download this music.

Are Google up at trial? NO!

From documents in the US it is clear that it was a US instigated operation and not the Police comment that is was Dutch and UK police.

If Allan Ellis who is onnocent until and if found guilty is found to be not guilty of the offence of copyright infringement, Will he be compensated for his loss of earnings and the Illegal taking down of his website?

I am just a mere investigator but I passed to Simon Walton of the Gazzette that your paper is associated with information that eventually last year was published that showed Cleveland Police themselved had not payed for there PRS licence that allows the sharing and playing od music in the Clevleand Police offices and canteen, not to mention the Police Cars.

A spokeman at the time said they would rather spend the money on catching criminals.
Try telling your readers that there are reporting restrictions and what they are? I can say with certainty that I was able to type in Google Moments ago the name of an artist and the the name name of a song and I had a list of places to download this music. Are Google up at trial? NO! From documents in the US it is clear that it was a US instigated operation and not the Police comment that is was Dutch and UK police. If Allan Ellis who is onnocent until and if found guilty is found to be not guilty of the offence of copyright infringement, Will he be compensated for his loss of earnings and the Illegal taking down of his website? I am just a mere investigator but I passed to Simon Walton of the Gazzette that your paper is associated with information that eventually last year was published that showed Cleveland Police themselved had not payed for there PRS licence that allows the sharing and playing od music in the Clevleand Police offices and canteen, not to mention the Police Cars. A spokeman at the time said they would rather spend the money on catching criminals. brianhowes

5:23pm Wed 6 Jan 10

Baccarolle says...

Alan Ellis may live in Middlesbrough but he is originally from Leeds. He has never worked for Virgin in any capacity.
Alan Ellis may live in Middlesbrough but he is originally from Leeds. He has never worked for Virgin in any capacity. Baccarolle

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