The Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) of the City of London police has had a successful run so far this week as it has managed to successfully order take downs of several major torrent indexes including ExtraTorrent, SumoTorrent, and MisterTorrent without any sort of court orders.
The newly formed unit sent out carefully worded letters to domain registrars of each of the above domain including many others stating that the domain / sites in question may be involved in copyright infringement.
Without making any reference to an active court order, the letter states that the owners of the mentioned domains are involved in “criminal distribution of copyrighted material either directly or indirectly and are liable to prosecution under UK law for the following offences: Conspiracy to Defraud, Offences under the Fraud Act 2006, Copyright, Design & Patents Act 1988.”
The letter continues stating that the PIPCU “criminal and civil powers in UK law to seize money, belongings and any property in connection with these offences.”
The letter, without highlighting any kind of legal backing, points out the obligations of the registrar and lists out possible violation of ICANN’s policy and registrar’s own terms of service. PIPCU sent out the letter to dozens of registrars across the UK and the effect is visible within 24 hours.
SumoTorrent.com, MisterTorrent.me and ExtraTorrent.com domains has have been suspended and are not reachable at the time of this writing. Some have migrated to domains with different suffixes, but have reported that traffic on their domains have plummeted.