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German authorities target illegal file-sharing site in large-scale operation

German investigators have shut down an illegal file-sharing site as part of a police sting across the country. Authorities say the site's activities caused several million in damages to copyright owners.

German police and public prosecutors have cracked down on the operators and members of an illegal fire-sharing site, carrying out raids on suspects' homes in 13 of Germany's 16 states and closing down the server in question, prosecutors in Frankfurt said on Friday.

The operations, which took place on Wednesday and Thursday, targeted 42 suspects across Germany, with the main accused a 49-year-old man from the Wetteraukreis district in the state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is located.

The site, usenetrevolution.info, was used to share illegal copies of films, music, computer games and e-books. It had some 27,000 members and is thought to have caused damage to copyright owners to the tune of at least €2.9 million ($3.7 million).

Read more:  Internet pirates walk a fine line in Germany

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Security in a digitized Germany

More suspects targeted

In addition to closing the server in Germany, German police and prosecutors cooperated with local authorities in the Netherlands and France to shut down internet sites there that were used as so-called Usenet access points. 

Numerous computers and hard drives were also seized as evidence of the suspected illegal use of copyrighted material for commercial purposes, prosecutors said in a statement.

Other suspects targeted by the operation are believed to have acted as moderators or so-called "uploaders" for the file-sharing site.

The operation was carried out by German federal and state police and prosecutors in conjunction with the EU justice agency Eurojust.

Read more:  Germany's top court rules parents must betray children in piracy cases

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Less WIFI Liability

tj/kms (AFP, Reuters)

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