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One for Us

Oink Admin Beats File Sharing Charges
•By David Kravets
•January 15, 2010 |
•1:21 pm |
•Categories: BitTorrent, Crime, intellectual property


A British jury on Friday cleared former Oink admin Allan Ellis of conspiracy to defraud the music industry for running one of the world’s strangest music file-sharing services with some 200,000 members.

Operators of the so-called Pink Palace banned low-quality sound files, enforced strict usage rules and mandated that all users’ avatars be “cute” — even taking pains to define exactly what made an avatar appropriately cuddly. All that came to an end in 2007, when the authorities arrested admin Alan Ellis, who created and ran the operation from his Middlesbrough apartment from 2004 to 2007.

After a seven-day trial, the 26-year-old Ellis walked from Teesside Crown Court, a free man Friday, the BBC reports.

Ellis, who said he crafted the site to brush up on his computer skills, testified the $18,000 a month he earned in “donations” was for rack space rental and servers.

Oink’s invitation-only policy kept it below the radar of most file traders, and the site’s operators apparently nixed repeated attempts to create a Wikipedia entry, so as not to draw attention.

The site prohibited games, videos (aside from tutorials), porn, nudity and the selling of invitations.

The always-clued-in TorrentFreak has been following the story.

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