Colombo-BT.org shut down, owners arrested
MILAN — Italian authorities said they have smashed the country’s largest illegal Internet file-sharing operation, Colombo-BT.org, and arrested the men who allegedly ran it.
As the biggest BitTorrent tracker site in Italy, Colombo-BT.org made available more than 390,000 music files and 500,000 movie files, including numerous pre-release titles.
The service had more than 400,000 registered users and 800,000 unique user accesses each month.
The three Italians who ran the site have been charged with infringing copyright law and face prison sentences of up to three years and heavy fines.
They had allegedly tried to conceal their activities by using the name of another individual who loaned his identity for the administrative procedures required by the site’s Czech-based service provider, per authorities.
Enzo Mazza, president of FPM, the Italian anti-music piracy group, affiliated with the Intl. Federation of the Phonographic Industry, said: “Colombo-BT.org was Italy’s version of the Pirate Bay. This police action sends a strong message that Italy will not tolerate serious online music piracy.”