Swiss, Belgians close illegal Internet server

Swiss and Belgian authorities shut down a major European peer-to-peer server that allegedly accommodated as many as 1.3 million simultaneous users swapping files illegally.

According to the Motion Picture Assn. of America, Razorback2, a popular server for the eDonkey P2P network, indexed more than 170 million files containing copyrighted material, from movies and music to games and software.

“This is a major victory in our fight to cut off the supply of illegal materials being circulated on the Internet via peer-to-peer networks,” MPAA chairman Dan Glickman said in a statement. “By shaving the illegal traffic of copyrighted works facilitated by Razorback2, we are depleting other illegal networks of their ability to supply Internet pirates with copyrighted works, which is a positive step in our international effort to fight piracy.”

In coordinated raids, Swiss police arrested the site’s operator Tuesday morning at his home in Switzerland while Belgian authorities seized the actual servers, which were located outside Brussels.

While the majority of users were based in Europe, users from all over the world regularly accessed the files.

Authorities have closed a number of eDonkey servers in the U.S. and abroad. Though authorities have shut down some servers for BitTorrent, currently the most popular P2P application for downloading movies and music, many remain active.

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