French Release Group CiNEFOX Busted – Three Members Arrested

The scene is generally known to be a tough nut to crack for the copyright police, but for one group, their time may be up.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

A French report suggests that three members of Cinefox, a French movie release group, was recently arrested.

On the heels of the news that France is formally mulling a three strike policy for online users, one of the French movie scene releasers was busted.

The French news site 01Net reported the news (French – English Google translation) recently.

According to the report, the arrests came when French anti-piracy outfit ALPA (Association against audiovisual piracy) made a complaint. The people that were arrested, judging by the report, were the site-ops for the group. The report also says that CineFox was the first group to release French version of X-Men 3, Jumper, 10,000 BC and Mission Impossible 3.

From the report (As translated by Charles Eddy, a ZeroPaid reader)

“This is a real case of an organized group that has global branches” he adds. Dozens of servers in France, linked to the Netherlands, contain thousands of gigabytes of counterfeit. “The group is far from being film collectors or novelty-seekers. The main purpose of these groups is clearly money. An investigator said that without [the groups], the forums and boards (such as Oleoo, which was closed by the same service, NDLR, some time ago) wouldn’t exist.”

This whole illegal underground culture generates money . . . and makes for vicious fights between the different sides [of the pirating battle]. The competition seems to be merciless on the Internet. “The Warez scene is corrupted by money with an obvious starting point, which is part of it. There are a lot of dirty tricks, and here is more proof.”

Cinefox would essentially be shut down because of a document which was circulated by a competitor in August, 2007, a text file that revealed information on counterfeiters: the servers, IP addresses, and screen names behind the pirates and their accomplices. A precious document for investigators, who could now track down the leaders of the group: not a simple task, otherwise.

“They could always catch two or three,” explains a Warez member, “but today it’s becoming more and more complicated to find us. We lease servers overseas — in Estonia, in the U.S. with “layered” hosting, or in the Czech Republic — the information is hidden on different servers. It’s encrypted. Our connections are encrypted with SSL.”

The report also suggests that another scene release group known as Carnage have quit the scene as a result of the recent bust.

Update: Proper translations by Charles Eddy inserted. Thanks Charles for working on this particular translation!

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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