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Suspected file-swappers arrested in worldwide sweep

[JURIST] The Dutch government said Thursday that police in more than a dozen countries have confiscated computers and made arrests in an illegal file-swapping sweep led by US authorities. The raids occurred Wednesday in the Netherlands, Australia, Israel, Germany, South-Korea, Norway, France, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Poland, Canada and Hungary, said a spokeswoman for the Dutch Finance Ministry [official website; press release in Dutch]. Most of those arrested are suspected of infringing the copyright of films, software and video games. The raids come in the wake of a landmark US Supreme Court ruling [JURIST report; PDF opinion] Monday that Internet file-trading networks, including Grokster and Morpheus, can be held liable when users copy music, movies and other media without permission. Reuters has more.

3:45 PM ET - The US Justice Department has since issued this press release on "Operation Site Down", described as

the culmination of three separate undercover investigations conducted by the FBI. In the past 24 hours, more than 70 searches were executed in the United States, and more than 20 overseas. Four individuals were arrested in the United States, and searches and/or arrests occurred in the following 10 countries: Canada, Israel, France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal and Australia. At least eight major online distribution sites were dismantled, preventing tens of millions of further losses to the content industry. More than 120 leading members of the organized online piracy underground were identified by the investigation to date, and as the investigations continue, additional targets will be identified and pursued.


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