German investigators shut down illegal file-sharing site

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German investigators shut down an illegal file-sharing site with around 27,000 members as part of a police sting targeting 42 suspects across Germany, the Frankfurt attorney general’s office said on Friday.

The file-sharing site,, was used to share bootleg copies of movies, music, computer games and e-books, causing at least 2.9 million euros ($3.4 million) of financial damage to copyright owners.

State police and public prosecutors searched suspects’ homes in 13 of Germany’s 16 states on Wednesday and Thursday, seizing computers and hard drives as evidence of the suspected illegal use of copyrighted material for commercial purposes, prosecutors said in a statement.

In the state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is based, the investigation is targeting a 49-year-old man suspected of having been an administrator of the illegal file-sharing site.

Other suspects are believed to have organized, or at least aided, operations of the site by acting as moderators or so-called “uploaders”, it said.

($1 = 0.8578 euros)

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan, editing by Ed Osmond)

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