Skip to main content

Oh dear.

British and Dutch police raids shut down the world's largest pre-release pirate music site

London, 23rd October 2007

British and Dutch police today shut down the world?s biggest source of illegal pre-release chart albums and arrested a 24-year old man in an operation coordinated between Middlesbrough and Amsterdam.

The raids, which were coordinated by Interpol, follow a two-year investigation by the international and UK music industry bodies IFPI and BPI into the members-only online pirate pre-release club known as OiNK.

OiNK specialised in distributing albums leaked on to the internet, often weeks ahead of their official release date. More than 60 major album releases have been leaked on OiNK so far this year, making it the primary source worldwide for illegal pre-release music.

The site, with an estimated membership of 180,000, has been used by many hardcore file-sharers to violate the rights of artists and producers by obtaining copyrighted recordings and making them available on the internet.

It is alleged that the site was operated by a 24-year-old man in the Middlesbrough area, who was arrested today. The site?s servers, based in Amsterdam, were seized in a series of raids last week. OiNK?s operator allegedly made money by setting up a donations account on the site facilitated by PayPal.

Cleveland Police and the FIOD-ECD SCHIPOL branch of the Dutch police undertook the raids, supported by Interpol, as part of a carefully-planned international investigation with anti-piracy investigators from IFPI and BPI.

OiNK used peer-to-peer technology called BitTorrent to distribute music. Torrent sites such as OiNK act as a library for torrent files. BitTorrent is the most popular software for internet file sharing and OiNK was the best-known for pre-release piracy.

Pre-release piracy ? a growing problem

Pre-release leaks are one of the most damaging forms of internet piracy that is currently eroding legitimate sales of music across the world. Recorded music sales fell by more than a third internationally in the last six years, and independent studies show that a major factor in this decline has been internet users accessing peer-to-peer networks to steal music online.

Pre-release piracy is particularly damaging to sales as it leads to early mixes and unfinished versions of artists? recordings circulating on the internet months ahead of the release.

Closed internet communities known as ?ripping groups? often get demos, early mixes of commercial releases and promotional copies of pre-release albums in advance of release with a view to distributing the music as widely and as far ahead of release as possible. Each ripping group gains cachet amongst its peers for being the first to get new music and uses torrent sites to distribute the music as widely as possible.

OiNK operated an exclusive membership scheme by which users were only invited to join the site if they could prove that they had music to offer. They were encouraged to distribute recordings in the torrent file format with other OiNK members, and have to keep posting such music to the site to maintain their membership.

Once an album had been posted on the OiNK website, the users that download that music then passed the content to other websites, forums and blogs, where multiple copies were made.

Within a few hours of a popular pre-release track being posted on the OiNK site, hundreds of copies can be found further down the illegal online supply chain.

The recording industry says that the closure of the site is an important victory in the industry?s bid to tackle copyright theft.

Jeremy Banks, Head of the IFPI?s Internet Anti-Piracy Unit, said: ?OiNK was central to the illegal distribution of pre-release music online. This was not a case of friends sharing music for pleasure. This was a worldwide network that got hold of music they did not own the rights to and posted it online.

?This operation was a classic example of how the recording industry can work with law enforcement agencies to prove that illegal operations on the internet are not immune from detection.?

BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor said: ?BitTorrent has fast become the most popular file sharing client, and while the technology is now commonplace, closed criminal networks such as OiNK take time to develop; make no mistake, this operation will cause major disruption to this illegal activity.

?The government is now well aware of the scale of damage this theft causes to music ? copyright theft starves the creative industries of income, which both threatens future investment in artists and vandalises our culture.

?That this individual now faces criminal charges will deter some but no doubt others will be looking move into this territory, and the authorities must keep up the pressure to deter the digital freeloaders.?
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Originally Posted By: dt
Hey guess what, Einstein? There are actually some places in your country that have the same names as places in our country. A couple of state capitals come to mind, for example.
Makes much more sense now. I was quite confused. Thanks for straightening me out. I usually don't read articles that are that long wink
I'm not even blonde, just occasionally very stupid.
General rules - Breaking these rules will get you banned without warning

* Do not sell invites to this site. If caught, both the seller and the buyer will be banned.
* Every user is required to keep a good share ratio. If you can't contribute, you shouldn't be here.
This means the relation of downloaded data to uploaded data must be equal or higher than the ratio requirement for your level of download.
* Exploiting bugs will result in an immediate ban. If you find a bug, please report it.
* If you are unsure of something, look at the FAQ, post in the forums or ask for help on our IRC Channel BEFORE you do something and maybe break the rules.

General Forum and Torrentcomments rules - Breaking these will result in a one week warning at the first and in a ban at the second time

* If you chose to have an avatar, it must be delicious (food) or cute (stuffed animal, pet, etc.)
No avatars wider than 150 pixel and higher than 200 pixel.
* No aggressive behaviour, flaming or foul language.
* No trashing of other peoples topics (i.e. spamming).
* No language other than English.
* No bumping of threads.
* No double postings. Use the edit function.
* No excessive quoting, especially when it includes pictures. Quote only the important part.
* No posting of images larger than 800x600 pixel.
* NO requesting and posting of Serials, CD-Keys, Cracks, Passwords etc.
* Before starting a new thread, make sure it doesnt exist already.
Use the search function. Make sure you start a thread in the correct category.
* If you have a questions, look at the FAQ before posting.

Uploading rules - Breaking these will result in a two week warning at the first and in a ban at the second time

* Only music uploads are allowed. No applications, games, movies, ebooks, etc.
* Do not upload our .torrent files to any other trackers. They contain your passkey which links them to your account.
Do not share your .torrent files with other people, if you do so, the tracker will automatically disable your account.
* Do not upload if you don't intend to share atleast one full copy.
We recommend staying on the torrent until there are a few other seeders, and not to leave when there is just one other peer.
* Music uploads of the following type are allowed:
Albums, EPs, LPs, CDM, CDs, promo-CDs.
Discographies, boxsets, bootlegs and selfmade collections are not allowed. If an official boxset has exclusive content (remasters, albums with additional tracks), then only the albums containing the exclusive content should be uploaded.
* Albums and singles which are made available without DRM for free or a optional fair price by the artists themselves on their website,
in at least 192 kbit/s VBR MP3 or FLAC, should not be uploaded here. This is to support those artists and make more users aware of them.
* Music uploads ripped from the following sources are allowed:
CD, vinyl, webrips (only if sold), SACD and DVD-Audio.
* Music uploads ripped from the following sources are not allowed:
Concert or radio-recordings, pre-broadcast tapes, tapes, etc. are not allowed.
The exception to the tape rule is if the album has never been released in any other format. However, the upload must be approved by staff first! You must either post it on the forums, or PM staff.
Recordings made direct from the soundboard at a concert are also allowed, but they must be approved by staff first.
* Only the following fileformats are allowed.
For lossy encodes: .MP3
For lossless encodes: .FLAC, .M4A (ALAC)
For multichannel audio: .AC3, .DTS, .FLAC, .WV (WavPack)
* Do not advertise other filesharing sites within your torrents.
Do not include links/userbars/banners in the description, and no adresses as textfile or similar.
Links to the artists website, myspace, musicreviews are allowed.
* Music torrents must contain a complete tracklisting within the description.
* If possible, include albumcovers and a .m3u playlist in the torrent.
* Music torrents must be created to download as a folder, containing "Artistname" and "Album/Singletitle".
Example: "Artist-Album" or "Artist - Album (Year)"
Torrents with folders like "Album" or "Artist" are not allowed.
* Music uploads which originally consist of multiple CD's or Vinyl discs, must be uploaded within one torrent.
Example: Seperate torrents like "CD1" & "CD2" for a double-disc album are not allowed.
They must be uploaded as one torrent, clearly named as 2CD and tracknames sorted according to that.
* Do not tag your uploads in the torrent-title with your name, [REQ] or similar.
You can add yourself in the description, the torrentfile name, or a .NFO file.
Only scene uploads may be tagged the way they have been released.
* Music files must be named properly.
Examples: "04-Artistname-Song.mp3" or "04 Song.mp3"
Filenames like "Track4.mp3" or "4.mp3" are not allowed. Minimum is "Tracknumber" and "Tracktitle".
If you need software for this, look at the FAQ.
Only exception to this are scene releases.
* Music files must be tagged properly, depending on the fileformat that is used.
Minimum fields are: Artistname, Albumtitle, Year, Tracktitle, Tracknumber.
If you need software to tag your files, take a look at the FAQ.
* Use common sense when naming and tagging your uploads.

Keep the tags clean, do not add things like Advance or such to the Artistname.
If you must label it, put it at the end of the torrent name, between albumtitle and year.
* Music torrents must be folders containing the music files.
Archives (.ZIP, .RAR, etc.) and images (.ISO, .BIN, etc.) are not allowed.
* Scene releases should be left intact, including NFO/SFV/M3U files.
Folders and files should not be renamed. The torrent name should contain the full name of the release.
Example: Artist-Album_(Proper)-2007-RNS
If you chose to alter the release, then do not label the upload as scene.
* Albums/Singles may not be ripped as one file. Each track must be a separate file.
Only exception are House/Dance/etc. albums and samplers where tracks fade into each other, as long as a .cue file is included.
* All music uploads must have an AVERAGE or CONSTANT bitrate of atleast 192 kbit/s, regardless of format/source.
Encodes using LAME V2/APS (scene), V1 and V0/APX presets are allowed to have a lower average bitrate.
If you need software to check for bitrates, presets and encoder info, look at the FAQ.
* Multichannel audio has special rules.
AC3 and DTS must NOT be in BIN/CUE or any other image format. It must be uploaded as .AC3 or .DTS.
FLAC and WV (WavPack) are allowed for multichannel audio, if the original was LPCM or MLP. LPCM and MLP themselves are NOT allowed as uploads.
These must be studio releases. Personal upmixes are not allowed.
Tracks must be split like any other album, with the same exceptions applying.
* Transcodes are under no circumstances allowed.
You may not convert from one lossy format to any other format.
Examples: 192 kbit/s CBR MP3 -> 220 kbit/s V0 MP3, 320 kbit/s CBR MP3 -> 220 kbit/s V0 MP3, 320 kbit/s CBR MP3 -> FLAC.
* Tracks of music uploads must be of the same source, encoded with the same settings/encoder.
Example: 4 tracks encoded with FhG at 192 kbit/s CBR and 12 tracks encoded with LAME at 225 kbit/s average is not allowed.
Either 16 tracks with same settings FhG, or all of them with LAME. Also no mixing from different sources.
Vinyl source may not be mixed in with CD source, even if same bitrate and encoder.
If you need software to check for bitrates and encoder info, look at the FAQ.
* A higher quality encode is always allowed on the site, if only lower quality or different format exists already.
MP3 V0/APX, 320 kbit/s CBR and FLAC with Log/Cue are always allowed, if the same doesnt exist already.
Examples: Upload MP3 V0 when MP3 CBR 320 kbit/s exists is ALLOWED.
Upload MP3 CBR 320 kbit/s when MP3 V2 exists is ALLOWED.
Upload MP3 V1 when MP3 V2 exists is ALLOWED.
Upload MP3 V2 when MP3 V0 exists is NOT ALLOWED.
Upload MP3 CBR 192 kbit/s when MP3 V1 exists is NOT ALLOWED.
Upload FLAC when MP3 V0 exists is ALLOWED.
Upload FLAC with Log&Cue when FLAC without either Log or Cue exists is ALLOWED.
Upload FLAC with Log&Cue as Secure Test/Copy rip when FLAC with Log&Cue as unsecure exists is ALLOWED.
If you upload a higher quality rip which beats a previous upload, please report the old upload with a note
that you uploaded a higher quality version and include a link to your torrent.

* If one of your torrents has been deleted, take a look at the log.
* If you feel that parts of these rules are hard to understand and could be phrased better, please tell us.

Rules last updated November 7th, 2007.

I remember how my heart beat when you said I love you so...

Link copied to your clipboard.