Swedish “pirate site” shut down

Hollywood's top film association said Monday it had succeeded in shutting down a Swedish website alleged to have pirated over 15,000 movies and television episodes.

The Motion Picture Association (MPA), the international arm of the Motion Picture Association of America, announced the shutdown of “BlueCrap,” described as “a highly trafficked Internet ‘warez’ server used to swap movies, television programming and other copyrighted materials.

“This is a significant victory in our battle to put Internet movie thieves out of business,” said MPAA and MPA chief Dan Glickman. “BlueCrap and other top-level piracy operators should know they are not above the law and we will not tolerate theft of copyrighted materials.”

According to MPA, BlueCrap released over 15,000 copyrighted movies and television episodes over the past two years, making it one of the highest ranked underground pirate servers in Europe.

The server contained 2,000 gigabytes of storage and massive bandwidth, which allowed for a movie to be transferred in less than 10 seconds.

MPA said BlueCrap was operated by an individual nicknamed “Swemike” and was the “exclusive domain of a select group of pirates, including seven well-known movie and television piracy gangs.”

MPA spokesman Kori Bernards said the shutdown came after “we threatened them with legal action.”

The trade group maintains that piracy excluding online fire-sharing cost the industry $3.5 billion in 2004 and that the figure may hit 5.4 billion in 2005.