Man made £200,000 from music piracy, court told
An English man who ran a pirate music website amassed hundreds of thousands of pounds from people who had downloaded 21 million songs, a jury heard yesterday.
In 2004, Alan Ellis founded the Oink website, which allowed users to obtain albums for free. A raid of his premises revealed nearly £200,000 (€223,000) in his bank accounts.
Teesside Crown Court heard that Mr Ellis (26) ran the site with others. Members paid donations to propose friends.
The site was based in Norway, but switched to Amsterdam in 2004. Police raided the server site and Mr Ellis's Middlesbrough home in October 2007.
"Every penny was going to Mr Ellis," prosecuting counsel said. "He hadn't sung a note, he hadn't played an instrument."
While the website did not host any music files itself, it provided an index of what was available to download. Mr Ellis told officers: "All I do is really like Google, to really provide a connection between people."
Mr Ellis denies conspiracy to defraud. The trial continues. (© The Times, London)