When it comes to seized websites we are use to them being seized by the US government as they have made any site around the world that they; or rather their entertainment industry backers, don’t like a target for takedown. The most famous of course is the incident involving Megaupload that has seen the site seized and all the property owned by Megaupload’s owner being seized, and sold off, as well.
Not to be left out of all the fun it would seem the UK Government has reached out and shutdown the popular music blog RnBXclusive which was a site that posted news, commentary, and links to music; and it was apparently these links that got the site in trouble.
Unfortunately though the government wasn’t just happy with taking the site down they also decided that the owners of the site needed to be arrested and anyone who used, or visited, the site deserved to be threatened with 10 years in jail because of the music that they may have downloaded via the site.
Now when you visit the seized site you are faced with a warning notice from the UK Government’s Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) that says that the music that was available from the site via the posted links were stolen from the artists and that anyone downloading them was committing a serious criminal offence that could get them up to ten years in jail.
To guarantee maximum impact the warning also displays the IP-address of those who visit the site. SOCA explains that they may use this information for further investigation.
“SOCA has the capability to monitor and investigate you, and can inform your internet service provider of these infringements. You may be liable for prosecution and the fact that you have received this message does not preclude you from prosecution.”
Of course there is also the obligatory note that has all the earmarks of having been written by some music industry flack.
“As a result of illegal downloads young, emerging artists may have had their careers damaged. If you have illegally downloaded music you will have damaged the future of the music industry.”
As with the US it would seem that the UK government doesn’t have to high of a regard for due process and that much of these types of actions are being driven by entertainment industry concerns rather than anything that resembles the letter of the law.