The war on download websites has new victims. The British Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has just shut down one of the biggest hip-hop/R&B download sites, rnbxclusives.com, arresting one of the directors on charges of fraud and conspiracy. Furthermore, not satisfied with simply taking the site offline, SOCA has also launched a message warning the users who have downloaded material from it that they could face up to ten years in prison and a huge fine. According to a spokesman from the Agency, the portal has been causing great losses to the music industry, estimated at 15 million pounds per year and they consider the website's users as “facilitators of organised crime.”
In related news, notorious torrent portal The Pirate Bay has just announced that they will delete the torrent files from their database, as of 29th February. Instead they will focus on offering their users magnet links. This new kind of link doesn't contain any actual files, but rather metadata that can be used by client applications to find the material wanted. This makes it much harder for the websites offering the content to be threatened by legal action.