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.

Filed Under: oink, raids, taxpayers, uk


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  1. icon
    Planespotter (profile), 17 Sep 2010 @ 3:07am

    "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."

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/15/oink_costs/

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

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