back to article ARG! A GHOST SHIP! Pirates sunk by UK cops return from watery grave

One of the world's largest BitTorrent search engines is back online after British cops successfully – but temporarily – managed to get the domain name Torrentz.eu switched off. The website's registrar, based in Poland, had agreed to suspend the domain name following a written warning from Blighty's Police Intellectual Property …

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  1. b166er

    MAFIAARR !!!!!!!

  2. malfeasance

    Pointless DNS removal

    We all know that there are are other torrentz TLDs; why did they even bother?

    Try the switzerland or the montenegro tld; both work instead of the .eu TLD

    Yeah, I know it's largely a rhetorical question, they must be seen to do something, anything, to appease their copyright masters.

    1. Justice
      Trollface

      Re: Pointless DNS removal

      I still own bit-torrent.net if they're interested.

      :D

    2. Joe 48

      Re: Pointless DNS removal

      I still chuckle at the fact my ISP blocked http access but never blocked https. Such a pointless exercise trying to block torrent sites. It'd be a full time job.

  3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Errrm...

    "If a website fails to comply and engage with the police, then a variety of other tactical options may be used including: contacting the domain registrar informing them of the criminality and seeking suspension of the site and disrupting advertising revenue."

    Errm...how about asking a court to make some sort of order? Obviously not legally enforceable outside UK/EU (as appropriate) but may have a wee bit more impact than a letter from some plod saying they aren't happy. Courts actually consider all the evidence.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Errrm...

      >Courts actually consider all the evidence.

      That's why the police dislike them - much better to "request" that the site be pulled, or its DNS blocked because they failed to engage - than have to go to the trouble of collecting evidence and going to court.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    This:

    "Operation Creative is a ground-breaking initiative is designed to disrupt and prevent websites from providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content, in partnership with the creative and advertising industries."

    Utter shite. They have as much chance at stopping this as they have at stopping TPB.

    Pointless waste of police resources. No wonder they are having the reigns tightened...

    Seriously, catch some proper crims, like the bastards behind crypto locker....

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Re: This: ... catch some proper crims

      That's hard work and needs expertise and some thought and planning and getting off a fat arse and out into the real world.

      1. king of foo

        Re: This: ... catch some proper crims

        Chill...

        Anything to keep them out of unmarked cars with speed guns is a plus if you ask me...

        I'd like to live in a world where the police are allowed to chase proper crims like they want to (no really they do want to) but, like everything, it comes down to budgets and politics.

        I'd happily pay a special tinterweb tax if it meant a highly qualified super team of security pros used it to chase down spammers, ratters, malware peddlers and the scum in the darknet.

        *** But they'd just spend the money on more speed cameras ***

        1. Fluffy Bunny
          Devil

          Re: This: ... catch some proper crims

          "Anything to keep them out of unmarked cars with speed guns..."

          I used to think only fools would get caught speeding. Then some fool invented the speed camera. Somebody should have taught him (yes, only males could be so stupid about being clever) the first rule: "First, do no evil."

        2. Marcelo Rodrigues
          Coat

          Re: This: ... catch some proper crims

          "Anything to keep them out of unmarked cars with speed guns is a plus if you ask me..."

          Correct me if I'm wrong, but...

          Wouldn't be better, simpler and safer, to just... obey the speed limit? No amount of speed gun will get someone bellow the speed limit.

          And, if it is set too low, the traffic problems would send a clear signal that something should be changed.

          Ok, ok. I'm going, no need to get the pitchfork.

  5. n0r0imusha
    Coat

    Torrent site ?

    the site is just a search aggregator not even close to a torrent site, with this logic they could pull down google.co.uk.....

    the ignorance is strong with the police still

    mine is the one with the list of ip addresses on it

    1. Paw Bokenfohr

      Re: Torrent site ?

      I understand what you're saying, but it's sophistry; yes, they are both search aggregators, but google.co.uk is a general search engine which indexes as much as it can from the web whereas torrentz.eu specifically and only provides search results from web sites which are hosting torrent and magnet links which are overwhelmingly copyright infringing.

      Now, I'm not arguing the merits or morals of copyright or distribution rights, or the price content creators are putting on their works for digital distribution, or saying I'm comfortable with these seemingly back-hand tactics on the police's part etc, but equating torrentz.eu to google.co.uk isn't really helpful.

      In UK law, intent is a large part of things; for example, you can carry a large knife (home, from Tesco, where you just bought it) but you also can't carry a large knife (hidden, under your coat, to mug someone with).

      It's the intent that changes the legality of the action here, and I'm sure that even before a court of law (which is where I would prefer the police get their authority!) they could argue the difference between google.co.uk and torrentz.eu.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Torrent site ?

        "they could argue the difference between google.co.uk and torrentz.eu"

        So, if I google "site:torrentz.eu frozen" it's somehow different from going to torrentz.eu and searching for "frozen" ? THAT'S sophistry.

      2. Crisp Silver badge

        @Paw Bokenfohr

        So essentially, what you're saying is: It's ok to run a url aggregator as long as torrent files aren't the only thing you're indexing.

  6. localzuk

    Another strong arm tactic based on lack of knowledge

    They're trying to force domain registrars to take down domain names because people host torrent sites, which host only links, and search aggregators (which don't even host links, they just, err, link to links).

    I always thought we lived in a country bound by laws which are enforced via the courts. You know, the prosecutors present evidence gathered by the police, the defendants present their defence and the court makes a judgement based on that evidence and their reading of the relevant laws. When did it become OK for the evidence gathering agencies to start threatening defendants to do things?

    1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: Another strong arm tactic based on lack of knowledge

      See above regarding police and courts.

      The short of it is the legal system, parliament for adding or removing laws and the courts interpreting and applying them, is separate from the policing of those laws. A great deal of the time the fuzz relies on their own interpretation of laws (see taking pictures of cops) or their ability to book you for something provable.

      It can be argued that it's not up to the cops to decide which laws to enforce, they just book 'em all, and let justice (in the form of the CPS and the courts) to decide who actually gets taken to trial.

      In general, in the western world, most cases never see a court. You are often punished for insisting on your right to trial, in that the maximum charges will be brought against you, as compared to a lessor plea.

      Courts are expensive. Investigations less so. If making a request solves the "crime" rather than getting a court order, it seems like a fine use of taxpayers money to me. Then again, I'm pretty much against most prison sentences. Either the crime is trivial enough to be managed with fines, serious enough to require intervention but the person can be changed (which may be a prison like situation) or the person can't be changed, so hang 'em.

      Off topic, I presume the whole death drugs issue in the USA being solved with gassing or shooting rather than hanging is because seeing lots of black chaps in nooses might show how little things have changed.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Another strong arm tactic based on lack of knowledge

        > If making a request solves the "crime" rather than getting a court order, it seems like a fine use of taxpayers money to me.

        Like "requesting" that somebody doesn't send tweets ridiculing UKIP policies?

        Or "requesting" that UK ISPs block terrorist propaganda, like Al-Jazeera or SinnFein or CND or Greenpeace or the SNP

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another strong arm tactic based on lack of knowledge

      It has been "okay" forever. The cops are naturally lazy. The ONLY difference between a cop and a criminal is the badge, and I heard that from a cop!

      If it is less work to "threaten" people than to prove your case in a court of law, the cops will continue to threaten folks to get the same results. Most people do not know how to say no the cops, and more should say no until the cops stop playing games with reality.

  7. Ilmarinen
    Holmes

    "Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit"

    I didn't think plod did "Intellectual"

    1. JohnMurray

      Re: "Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit"

      It comes before ¨crime¨....anything to do with crime is ok.

      These are the people shortly to have access to your medical data, with no court order.

    2. LaeMing Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: I didn't think plod did "Intellectual"

      It is like the Military doing Intelligence.

  8. David 45
    Flame

    Due process

    As per. my title - just who the hell do the police think they are? There's a little thing called due process which, strangely enough, appears to involve judges and courts, which I believe are supposed to decide what is, or is not, legal. Has this age-old tradition suddenly gone out of the window? Has there been some super-secret law made that now facilitates the police arbitrarily deciding the legality of people's actions? Obviously the police think they have no need of such niceties as a court order and are deciding to go it alone, without any decision from a judge. Is this, in itself, legal? Looks like the first run-up to a police state here.

    1. JohnMurray

      Re: Due process

      Not really, The first-run-up was done years ago. They´re on home ground now.

  9. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Stop

    Arrr!, me hearties!! Thar be some heavy-handed policing!

    Cops call Polish DNS provider, provider senses path of least resistance and complies. Cops are done being badass crimebusters in time to get down to the donut shop. (Do cops go to donut shops in the UK? Maybe they run off for pasties?)

    1. Kane Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Arrr!, me hearties!! Thar be some heavy-handed policing!

      Sausage rolls, I believe

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a fracking waste of taxes.

    Fracking tits wasting taxes playing whack a mole and losing. IP is BS legalese corporatist welfare and nothing to do with real property!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a fracking waste of taxes.

      This the City of London police, the closest thing we have to a private police force.

      1. Tony Paulazzo

        Re: What a fracking waste of taxes.

        City of London police

        They're actually not held to the same laws or something...

        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/oct/31/corporation-london-city-medieval

        ...exists outside many of the laws and democratic controls which govern the rest of the United Kingdom. The City of London is the only part of Britain over which parliament has no authority.

  11. veti Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "Operation Creative"?

    Ooo goody, a new naming policy from the Met. I look forward to "Operation Derivative" (searching queuing moviegoers for recording devices), "Operation Nimby" (where they get together with residents' associations to put up more speed cameras), "Operation Tedious" (in which they read my emails), and "Operation Wank" (investigating and preventing threats to celebrities and VIPs).

    One I'm sure I'll never see, though, is "Operation Bite-The-Hand-That-Feeds-You", where they investigate corruption in local and national politics.

  12. Crisp Silver badge

    Seems to me that the CoLP are way out of their jurisdiction.

    Did London annex Poland while I wasn't looking?

  13. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Operation Creative is a ground-breaking initiative

    That it is. It's breaking so much legal ground that it's creating potholes.

    But being useful, not to mention relevant, is beside the point.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And let's not forget...

    Police operations and actions concerning copyright theft are performed on behalf of the entertainment industry, but funded by tax payers. Can you see what they did there?

    1. Fatman Silver badge

      Re: Can you see what they did there?

      I sure can, it is called:

      Privatizing the gain (profit), and publicizing the risk.

  15. Shaha Alam

    we in the uk pay police to protect copyrighted material held by private individuals and corporations. then pay again when we want to watch/listen to it.

    and given that we're in the UK, we probably pay a higher price for the privilege.

    totally makes sense.

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