Police raided commercial and residential properties in the Netherlands, France, and Germany Wednesday as part of a copyright-violation investigation of Share-Online.biz, the largest file hosting site operated in Germany.
The news was announced by the police of Aachen, Germany. The investigation is directed against three suspects aged 40, 48 and 54. The defendants are accused of aiding and abetting the commercial exploitation of copyrighted works by operating a file-sharing platform in a large number of cases.
According to current information, the online portal operated by the accused is the largest file hoster operated in Germany. It is alleged that a considerable number of copyright-protected works such as feature films, series, erotic productions or pieces of music were offered for download via this portal, whereby the pirated copies had previously been uploaded to the platform by registered users. For this purpose, the uploaders were remunerated by the accused according to a detailed points system, taking into account file size and number of downloads.
According to the current state of investigations, the main defendant has been renting steadily increasing server capacities – most recently in the double-digit petabyte range – from a Dutch provider for the operation of the platform since 2010. By operating the platform, the defendants are said to have generated sales of over EUR50 million in the period from April 2008 to October 2017. The investigations are ongoing.