Ukraine shut down file sharing website Demonoid ahead of U.S. copyright talks

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, August 6, 2012 16:25 EDT
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A computer mouse used for media piracy. Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.
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Ukrainian police are behind a recent blackout that’s effectively shut down servers for the popular bittorrent tracking website Demonoid, according to local media, in a sting seemingly timed to coincide with a meeting between the country’s deputy prime minister and U.S. Trade Rep. Ron Kirk.

Demonoid, one of the largest file sharing websites in the world, went down after a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack knocked the site offline on July 27.

Though site administrators said at the time that Demonoid would recover, an employee for ColoCall, Ukraine’s largest datacenter, told Kommersant that the site remains offline thanks to government intervention just days after the hack.

The site was singled out by the U.S. Trade Rep. last year (PDF) as one of the most “notorious markets” for infringing goods, and at one time ranked in the top 300 most popular sites for American Web users.

The raid on ColoCall appears to be timed to coincide with Ukrainian deputy prime minister Valeriy Khoroshkovsky’s July 31 meeting with U.S. Trade Rep. Ron Kirk, during which the two discussed greater cooperation on copyright issues.

“Support from the U.S. side in liberalizing the access of Ukrainian goods to the U.S. market and the cancellation of the existing restrictions are very important for us,” he said leading up to the meeting, according to The Kyiv Post.

Demonoid’s administrators reportedly remain at large despite the raid.

Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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