FBI shuts down BitTorrent server today – the first criminal action against BitTorrent

The FBI earlier today raided the “Elite Torrents” BitTorrent network, shutting down its core server. Anyone accessing the site now receives the message “This Site Has Been Permanently Shut Down By The Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

The site had been one that was sharing the new Star Wars release, “Revenge of the Sith.” The movie is claimed to have been downloaded more than 10,000 times the first day it was available, and was up and available for download six hours before the movie opened in theatres.

BitTorrent as a technology has many legitimate uses – I know of a few Podcasters that use the technology to make their shows available faster and more freely available. However, it’s not surprising that actions like this are being taken. Piracy can’t be condoned. And, the mainstream media is full of stories about the widespread infringement of the latest (last?) Star Wars film. It’s so widespread that in order to show they are being effective the government is now forced to take action. If I were a BitTorrent user, I would think twice before infringing the copyright by means of an unauthorized download — it won’t be long before the next raid.

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