More than 130,000 individuals subscribed to the illegal services
A department of the Italian Minister of Economy and Finance called Guardia di Finanza (Financial Guard), which also handles cybercrime, pulled the plug on five illegal websites owned by a Naples man.According to TorrentFreak, ItalianShare, MusicShare, FilmShare and ItalianSexy were all hosted in Las Vegas and they were operated by a 49-year-old man known on the internet as Tex Willer.
The law enforcement investigation revealed that more than 31,000 links to torrent sites and cyberlockers were hosted on the five locations, serving music, movies, software and games to their clients.
It's assumed that many of the products they offered were unreleased to the public when they were posted, thus highly affecting the media industry.
This is also proved by the fact that together the file-sharing websites had more than 136,000 subscribers which benefited from the large number of bootlegged material.
Since Tex wasn't sharing all that content out of the goodness of his heart, investigators are charging him with tax evasion and copyright infringement after they discovered that the websites were set up to receive donations from their fans through PayPal.
Three other suspects are under the supervision of the authorities after the Federation Against Music Piracy (FPM), Italian Entertainment Software Publishers Association(AESVI) and movie anti-piracy group FAPAV filed complaints against them.
Investigators are confident that the computers they confiscated will give them further clues on the operation and the individuals that managed it.
Another piracy organization is shut down and while many people argue that simple file sharing should not be against the law, the type of activities performed by the suspects mentioned in this story are certainly to condemn.
In the meantime, make sure to purchase all your software and media materials from trusted locations to avoid ending up with fake or dangerous products that could harm your digital assets.