Filesoup site owner arrested, now on bail, guilty until I prove I'm innocent
Comic Book Guy from Neowin.net posts: "Got the following as an email:
I am contacting you all because I am very angry, if you have already heard about or seen this on Filesoup, I hope you are as outraged as I am.
If you haven't heard or read about it already, here is what happened:
Monday 27th July @ 9:05am
Police raid on my home, Warrant to enter and search premises issued on 16/7/09 @12:25
For issue of warrant under:
Section 109 Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988
Identify, so far as possible, the articles or persons to be sought and search for:
Evidence in relation to the illegal distribution or illegal filesharing of copyrighted films however held, whether electronically or otherwise. Also any evidence in relation to payments received relating to the illegal distribution or illegal filesharing of copyrighted films held whether electronically or otherwise.
Specify person or persons: AUTHORITY is hereby given for any constable (accompanied by):
Neil Gardner, an officer of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (F.A.C.T.)
I was arrested, and taken to the local police station, on the way I asked and was told that it would take about a couple of hours, when I arrived, the booking-in charge was entered as:
Suspicion of downloading copyrighted movies
I asked them while still at home if I could contact a member of my family so that someone could come and make sure my dog was catered for, they said that I couldn't. On the way to the police station I asked if they could contact someone to take care of the dog or if I could make a phone call, they again said I could not.
Before being put in a cell, I was given a Notice Of Entitlements sheet. On this sheet it clearly stated under HOW YOU SHOULD BE CARED FOR. Keeping in touch:
As well as talking to a solicitor and having a person told about your arrest you will usually be allowed to make one phone call. Ask the police if you would like to make a phone call. You can also ask for a pen and paper. You may be able to have visitors but the custody officer can refuse to allow that.
I asked again as I was put in the cell, if I could contact someone or make a phone call, I was told no I couldn't do that, I asked why and was told that the Inspector had put a block on any and all communication from me to anyone.
I was checked on approximately every 30 minutes, each time I asked if they could please contact someone to inform them that I had been arrested and that I wanted to make a telephone call to arrange for a solicitor, every time I was told that they would check into it, see what they could do, ask a superior etc etc, but I wasn't allowed to do either for the whole duration of me being in the cell, which was around 7.5 hours.
After a few hours, I was visited by two Independent Custody Visitors, who asked if I was being treated well and if there was anything I wanted or needed, I told them that I had asked several times already, that I wanted someone contacted to let them know that I'd been arrested and that I wanted to make a phone call, but both had been refused, they appeared surprised and said they would look into it for me, but that was obviously a worthless statement from them, because in the hours that follwed, I still wasn't allowed to do either.
I did get something which resembled an all day breakfast meal, but the taste was so awful, I only had a couple of spoons of it, I had several cups of water and a cup of coffee, I also asked for and got a blanket when I got a bit cold, police cells aren't the warmest of places I now know!
I'm guessing that around about 4:45pm a policeman who I'd not seen before, came into the cell with some paperwork, it was a 12 page list of items they had seized from my house, he asked me to sign a document to confirm that the items listed were mine, after looking at the first few pages, I told him that there were no specific identifiable details for any of the items they had seized and listed, no manufacturers, no model numbers, no serial numbers, for anything and that because this important information had not been detailed, I was not going to sign anything stating that I owned any of it, not without first visually confirming that all the listed items were actually my propety, here's the list of items they say they seized:
01. Nokia mobile phone
02. Large brown package containing several large padded envelopes
03. Western digital hard drive
03. Realistic telephone answering machine
04. 18 mini discs
05. Sharp video camera in grey carry case
06. 8 blank cd's
07. Tandy laptop & bag
08. Black media device
09. Grey mitac laptop computer
10. 10 mini discs
11. eMechanics computer hard drive
12. Box containing venus hard drives
13. 10 blank jvc cd's
14. Memory stick from rear of eMachines computer tower
15. Box containing 10 traxdata cd's
16. Box containing 10 samsung cd's
17. Large computer tower
18. 2 cd's 1 floppy disc and misc papers containing invoices
19. Advent computer tower and external drives
20. Wharfdale rewritable dvd player
21. 5 x hard drives
22. Grey phillips receiver
23. 3 x memory sticks
24. Misc cd's and mini discs
25. Hard drives
26. 1 x hard drive
27. Various cd's & dvd's
28. Computer base unit
29. Computer drive & lead
30. Asda bag containing computer drive & discs
31. Sat nav in black case
32. Paperwork containg details of addresses in Scotland
33. Documents seized from desk
What do they take me for, a complete idiot! ...no one in their right mind would have signed to say any of these items were their property, especially if they'd not been there when it was seized!
Anyway, he got extremely ****ed off, insisted I signed it, I refused and he said something to the effect of "fine, then don't sign it" and stormed off out of the cell.
At 5pm a solicitor arrived and I was put in an interview room to speak with him and his assistant, I said that with my limited knowledge, as far as I was aware, downloading of something which had copyright, was a civil offence and not a criminal one and I asked him why the police were involved in this case, he told me that under Section 109 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act of 1988, the downloading of any copyrighted item, without the owners consent, was a crimnal offence and not a civil one ...first I knew of it!
I was then interviewed by two police officers and it was recorded on tape, they asked loads of questions about all sorts of things to do with Filesoup, I had to correct and explain things to them several times, in very simple terms, a lot of the misconceptions or misunderstandings they had about the way BitTorrent works, how servers and hosts operate, how the internet works, what a domain name was, what a URL was, to name but a few things! The tape machine beeped and kept stopping part way through the interview, it appeared that they knew it was a "bit faulty" at times, but fiddled with it and carried on regardless, eventually, the interview was finished.
My solicitor and I asked them if they would very kindly drive me back home again, he did agree, but he first had to complete some paperwork, he said he'd be as quick as he could and put me back in the cell again to wait for him. Quite some time later, he returned and took me back to the booking desk.
I was given a multi-paged document entitled:
Notice of Excercise of Additional Powers of Seizure under Sections 50 or 51 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, which listed the same items as above. It gave this information for anyone wishing to make an application for the return of seized property in this case or an application to attend examination of seized property, should apply to:
Federation Against Copyright Theft
On returning my personal effects, the officer noticed the Filesoup credit card which they had overlooked when I was being booked in, he confiscated the card and gave me a receipt for it.
I was released on police bail with the alleged offence(s) stated as being:
Distribute Article Infringing Copyright
I must surrender to the local police station on 02/10/2009 at 5:00 pm
I asked the officers why everyone had continually refused all day to contact someone to inform them of my arrest and why I'd been refused to make a phone call, they told me that the Inspector had lifted the "block" at around 2:30pm and that they didn't know why the officers on duty at the station hadn't been informed of this fact.
Time of release from police custody was 19:42
I got back home just before 8pm to find my belongings had been turned upside down, the dining room was a like a whirlwind had gone through, I'm not the tidiest of people as it is, but at least I knew where everything was, but after they had been there going through everything, they'd turfed out all the drawers of the desk, chucked back what was of no interest to them, left a pile of paperwork scattered across my desk and table with wires everywhere, talk about a nightmare!. My dog was extremely traumatised, he'd been barking almost non-stop all day long the neighbour told my Dad when he went over at about 6:30pm to feed the dog as I hadn't got back yet. My dog rarely barks at anything, now he barks at the least little thing, I am SO annoyed that they have done this to him!
Well that's it, lock, stock and barrel... how can anyone have any faith in our current justice system ...what the hell happened to the old belief "innocent until proven guilty"? Gits!
Link to thread if you wish to comment or read the replies: http://filesoup.com/forum/news_updates-f9-...ent-t29230.html
Please tell everyone you know about this fiasco, the more people who know about it and talk about it, the better chance I will have of getting the media attention this kind of injustice deserves.
Thank you all for your continued support.
Source: Neowin.net Forum Thread