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Another website falls in global crackdown against online piracy

German file-hosting site skyload.net is next website brought down for online piracy, following Megaupload and Btjunkie.
Piracy crackdown continues 2012 02 22Enlarge
A woman walks past a graffiti made by the shadowy online hackers group Anonymous at the entrance of the French anti-piracy watchdog Hadopi headquarters on January 30, 2012 in Paris. (Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images)

German authorities have raided and shut down popular file-hosting site skyload.net, arresting the sites owner along with another individual who helped provide hosting services to the website, reported German news outlet Heise Online.

Skyload.net, along with several other sites accused of internet piracy and copyright violations have undergone increased pressure from authorities following the shutdown of Megaupload and the arrest of the site’s employees last month.

Both men have been charged with copyright-related offenses and face up to several years in prison if they’re found guilty.

These new arrests were part of ongoing legal actions directed against the moving streaming portal Kino.to which was raided and shut down in June of last year, resulting in the arrest of more than a dozen people in Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands, according to file-sharing advocates torrentfreak.com and Heise Online.

Skyload.net and Megaupload.com have so far borne the brunt of the increased international efforts to stop online piracy and copyright violation. In addition, torrent hosting website The Pirate Bay recently switched its US-based ".org" domain for Sweden based ".se," fearing a crackdown by US authorities. Btjunkie.org, another wildly popular torrent hosting website, voluntarily closed its doors earlier this month after eight years in operation, fearing legal reprisals.

Torrentfreak reported that the site’s alleged operator Maik P. was arrested together with the operator of Skyload, Marcel E., the 25-year-old owner of the site’s hosting provider. Aside from providing hosting services to the cyberlocker, the internet provider is also alleged to have hosted servers to release groups and movie streaming portals.

"How tight the connections were between the hosting provider and the file-sharing services is unclear from the information currently being made public. It is quite unusual for a hosting provider to get arrested for alleged crimes that were committed through clients," read the report on torrentfreak. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-grid/skyload-net-megaupload-online-piracy-crackdown