How Much Did The Pointless OiNK Raid Cost UK Taxpayers?

from the if-they-spend-more-do-they-get-it-right-next-time? dept

As you may recall, a few years back, UK authorities took down OiNK, a popular BitTorrent tracker site — and only after taking down the site did they realize that OiNK’s admin, Alan Ellis, didn’t appear to have done anything illegal. After testing out a few legal theories, prosecutors finally tried “conspiracy to defraud” the music industry — a crime that sounds suspiciously like felony interference of a business model. Of course, years later, Ellis was found not guilty, since he didn’t actually break any laws.

So how much did this entertainment-industry driven mess cost UK taxpayers? Well, police refused to release that information for a while, claiming that it “could undermine any ongoing and future investigations and cause potential damage to the criminal justice process.” Uh, right. About the only way it would do that is when people realized how much money was being wasted on bogus investigations. Eventually, however, it came out that the investigation itself cost about £29,000 — including £7,800 on overtime (OiNK after dark?) and £4,300 on “travel and subsistence.” Of course that doesn’t even get into what the actual trial cost taxpayers, which I’m sure is many times greater than that. And, as plenty of people predicted at the time of the raid, none of it mattered, because others stepped in to replace OiNK in no time flat. Perhaps, next time, the police can spend a little more money to realize that they had no case. Or, maybe, not spend the money at all, and let the entertainment industry focus its efforts on actually adapting to a changing market place.

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Comments on “How Much Did The Pointless OiNK Raid Cost UK Taxpayers?”

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Yogi says:

Wrong again

Mike, you just don’t get it.

Defending the entertainment industry’s business model is like defending liberty – it’s worth it no matter what the cost, no matter what we as a nation(s) have to do. It’s not only a matter of principal – it’s a matter of our very survival as a civilization.
Yes, we may have to throw privacy, the internet, digital technology, common sense, economic competition, the future and perhaps even personal liberty itself out the window. But how can anyone in his right corporate mind doubt that it is worth it?

Mike, I think you are due for an appointment with Mr. O’Brien at the Ministry of Free Culture.

Anonymous Coward says:


Did Techdirt move to the UK or something?
For an American perspective…

£29,000.00 = $45,548.32 on investigation itself
+£7,800.00 = $12,246.80 on overtime
+£4,300.00 = $ 6,751.44 on “travel and subsistence”
£42,100.00 = $64,546.56 in totally, completely wasted tax money

Planespotter (profile) says:

“However, the force admits the true total cost is likely to be significantly greater than disclosed because it did not keep records of normal hours spent on the case, or the involvement of other forces.

So that ?29k /$45k is only additional costs, and the day to day costs (read greater) of the whole investigation aren’t included.

bob says:


Perhaps, next time, the police can spend a little more money to realize that they had no case.

In the UK as here it’s not the cops that make the case it’s the prosecutors who make the case.

It wasn’t the oink local police precinct detective sargent who suddenly awoke one day and decided to bust oink.

It was political pressure from the recording industry who cost the tax payers all the expanses for this whack a mole failure.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: So What ?

I take it you don’t have to pay taxes? If you do, would it be ok with you if, in these times of economic uncertainty, your police was wasting money for no useful purpose at all? I guess it’s ok as long as it isn’t “millions”.

And besides, do you know for how long I have to work to raise 29000£? That’s A LOT of money.

The Mad Hatter (profile) says:

Oink and the Cops

I spent some time trying to get information out of the cops about this case. They seemed to be terrified of answering any questions on the phone, in fact I could hear two of the talking when one put the phone down, and they sounded so scared it was ridiculous. They also refused to supply me the information I wanted, and tried to pretend that some of it didn’t exist.

Oh, and they tried to refer me to the IFPI, and when I pointed out that the IFPI shouldn’t know what was in the arrest warrant, they seemed to get more nervous.

I don’t think that the cops were at all happy with the IFPI, in fact I got the impression that the cops believe that the IFPI was lying to them. Curious, that.

If you want to read what I wrote at the time I made the call click here.

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