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
    The Mad Hatter (profile), 18 Sep 2010 @ 6:44pm

    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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