Friday, 15 January 2010

Music file-sharer Cleared of Fraud Charges

A man who ran a music-sharing website from his bedroom, which had almost 200,000 members, has been found not guilty of conspiracy to defraud.

Alan Ellis, 26, was accused of making thousands of pounds from the Oink website, which he ran from his Middlesbrough flat from 2004 until it was shut down in a police raid in 2007. In that time Oink facilitated the download of 21 million music files.

The jury at Teesside Crown Court unanimously cleared the software engineer of the single charge. Mr Ellis smiled as the jury foreman returned the not guilty verdict.

Ellis told the jury that he set up Oink to brush up on his computing skills while he was studying at Teesside University.

He said the website was developed from a free template, which had a Torrent file-sharing facility included in it, which allowed members to find other people on the web who were prepared to share files, allowing users to get hold of music for free.

During the trial the jury where told, when police raided his home in October 2007, they found almost £200,000 in accounts. Ellis said the money was to pay for the server's rental and any "surplus" was intended to eventually buy a server.

Mr Ellis said there was no intention to defraud copyright holders. He had a full-time job as a software engineer and said administering the site was just a hobby.

The prosecution said he told police officers: "All I do is really like Google, to really provide a connection between people. None of the music is on my website."

As he left court, Ellis declined to comment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It takes all kinds to make a world...................................................