Piracy

Danish Police Arrests Operators of “Last Pirate Sites” in the Country

By Bill Toulas / January 19, 2021

At the start of the month, the Danish anti-piracy group known as Rights Alliance (Rettighedsalliancen) proudly announced that a decade of efforts to bash piracy in the country has finally flourished, as the last two illegal file-sharing services based there had shutdown. That would be “Asgaard” and “ShareUniversity,” two relatively large file-hosting platforms and torrent indexers that hosted thousands of copyright-protected material and welcomed millions of unique visitors each month. Apparently, the two had shut-down voluntarily, fearing prosecution following other pirate site operators’ arrests in the country.

According to the latest news, those fears were well-grounded, as the Danish Police has now arrested six people who are suspected to be the leading operators of the “Asgaard” platform. All six, aged between 34 and 53, have been charged with copyright infringement offenses and were released until the investigation is completed and the trial is scheduled. The Danish law proposes imprisonment sentences for the aforementioned offenses, so it is likely that the “Asgaard” operators will soon find themselves in a cell.

A police spokesperson stated the following:

It is very satisfying that, on the basis of a very effective effort, we have arrested the people we believe are the responsible perpetrators so that we can hold them accountable. We hope that with the arrests and imprisonment, we have sent the clear signal to the Danish pirate users that SØIK’s special IPR unit is determined to target Danish services and hold both backers and users to account – no one is protected.

The ‘Rights Alliance’ also celebrated this development, with the group’s Director, Maria Fredenslund making the following statement:

The penalty for this type of crime is six years in prison, and the IP task force in SØIK has shown with the latest action against the Asgaard backers that no one can feel safe. They are extremely well equipped to investigate and respond quickly and effectively to this type of case.

With all that is going on in Denmark, torrent release groups like “Xor06” and “QUARK” have already stated that they’re wrapping up as they see no compelling reason to risk it anymore. This is the same approach that Asgaard’s operators took, shutting down last Christmas in the hope that the law enforcement authorities would forget about them, but it didn’t work that way after all.



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