Liberty Land is no more: administrators face jail time, 500,000 fine

By on May 30, 2011, 3:00 PM

Liberty Land, stylized "LiBerTy-LanD - La Liberté Sans Limite !" (translation: liberty without limits), was one of France's most popular file-sharing forums. We say this in the past tense because the website was taken down over the weekend, according to the AFP.

Liberty Land had been in operation since September 2009 and had over 800,000 members. It provided links (via services such as MegaUpload and RapidShare) to a wide variety of pirated material, including movies, music, software, and video games. Some estimates said the site had 30,000 links to albums and 100,000 links to movies and TV shows.

Liberty Land's administrators have since been charged with organized counterfeiting. The three men, aged between 25 and 30, were arrested in Marseille, near Le Havre and in the Paris suburb of Montreuil. They have been released pending trial, and now face five years in prison and a fine of €500,000 ($713,000).

The arrests come at the end of a year-long probe after copyright protection groups ALPA and SACEM tracked a Liberty Land contributor to Rennes, France. Jean-Philippe Vidal, chief of the Rennes gendarmerie leading the probe, said investigators succeeded in tracing the operators of the site, who had setup multiple barriers to protect themselves, including a server in Canada. Vidal said the site generated "a lot of money" through advertising but could not confirm a reported figure of €200,000 ($285,000).

Due to the differences in copyright law around the world, pirates often host their website in different countries, such as Canada, to make their illegal activities harder to bring to court. Nevertheless, these obstacles are usually overcome with time, as shown with Liberty Land.




User Comments: 13

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albertjkruger said:

Law Enforcement/Ninjas/Llamas 1 - Pirates - 0

princeton princeton said:

albertjkruger said:

Law Enforcement/Ninjas/Llamas 1 - Pirates - 0

The ratio of money spent to money recovered by the RIAA and MPAA says differently.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

The ratio of money spent to money recovered by the RIAA and MPAA says differently.

Indeed it does. Unless someone at RIAA is just horrendous at math, They are obviously trying out an advertising/determent strategy.

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albertjkruger said:

Princeton said:

albertjkruger said:

Law Enforcement/Ninjas/Llamas 1 - Pirates - 0

The ratio of money spent to money recovered by the RIAA and MPAA says differently.

True, but I was only referring to this instance where pirates are (possibly) going to serve prison time.

Guest said:

What always amuses me is how the government lines its own pockets with the money of those pirates, instead of, say, compensating the copyright holders. I know, that would be almost impossible, seeing how many possible customers are lost through those sites, but it it'd be a thought in the right direction. As things stand now, we have this weird foodchain, with copyright-holders being "eaten" by pirates, while the government profits from the small revenue the pirates gain by advertising and donations.

treetops treetops said:

I would love to see the government hold it to a vote whether tax payer money should be spent hunting down internet pirates or making sure corporations are playing by the books. A vote by the people of course. Since at least here in America the government is supposed to be for the people by the people. Government exists to serve us, our tax dollars go where the majority deems them to go.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Canada a haven for pirates, eh? Would have had my money on Sealand.

ramonsterns said:

All that time catching nerds could be used for catching drug dealers and organized crime.

Oh, who am I kidding, file-sharing is non-profit, they don't have the funds to bribe politicians.

Rasta211 said:

Hopefully when 1 pirate goes down, 10 more pop up in its place.

Guest said:

Sad news. Internet in France is starting to be terribly controlled and repressed: Hadopi, internet filters and chase for the "pirates".

stewi0001 stewi0001 said:

treetops said:

I would love to see the government hold it to a vote whether tax payer money should be spent hunting down internet pirates or making sure corporations are playing by the books. A vote by the people of course. Since at least here in America the government is supposed to be for the people by the people. Government exists to serve us, our tax dollars go where the majority deems them to go.

I liked what my Econ professor said:

"By the people, for the special interest groups." (aka big companies)

anguis said:

You would think movies, shows, music, games, etc, would be all failing with all this piracy going on. You'd think the big movie companies would be going under. But what do we have? We have record breaking movie releases. We have actors and actresses being paid more than ever. Movie, and game companies making more than ever. Better than ever graphics and CGI. More money being made than ever. Musicians making plenty of money. I see rich rappers that aren't even any good. They clearly are making money.

Where is the piracy actually affecting things????? They make up fake numbers as a front for this "fight against piracy" when in reality they are doing better than ever.

princeton princeton said:

True, but I was only referring to this instance where pirates are (possibly) going to serve prison time.

So you're statement only included instances where the industries came out on top. That's got to be the dumbest thing I've ever read.

That's like saying that even though a lawyer lost every case they're still succeeding because in one instance they won a case and you're only including that instance. It makes no ****ing sense.

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