Charges Filed Against Alleged Kino.to Pirate

6:30 AM PST 10/20/2011 by Scott Roxborough

European police shut down the illegal file-sharing site in June.

COLOGNE, Germany – German prosecutors have filed charges against the alleged mastermind behind notorious online piracy site Kino.to. The public prosecutors office in Dresden claims the accused – who under German law cannot be named – was responsible for more than one million cases of copyright violation. The maximum penalty per violation is three years in prison. 

This summer European police staged a cross-border raid on Kino.to’s offices and data centers, arresting 13 people and shutting down the site. Six people remain in prison. The prosecutors office in Dresden is looking to bring charges against all of them.

It is debatable what effect the raid has had on online piracy. A copycat piracy site, Kinox.to was lauched just a month after Kino.to shut down.

And public opinion in Germany may be moving in the pirates' direction. Last month Berlin voters elected 15 members of the Pirate Party to the state parliament. The Pirates think file-sharing sites such as Kino.to should not be held criminally responsible if their users illegally share copyright protected material.

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