From Torrent Freak:
Following a three year investigation by Hollywood-backed anti-piracy group the Federation Against Copyright Theft, last week five of the UK’s most prolific movie pirates were sentenced in the West Midlands.
Graeme Reid, 40, from Chesterfield, Scott Hemming, 25, and Reece Baker, 22, both from Birmingham, Sahil Rafiq, 24, of Wolverhampton and Ben Cooper, 33, of Willenhall, received sentences totaling 17 years.
The men were behind several interrelated movie release groups including RemixHD, 26K, UNiQUE, DTRG and HOPE/RESISTANCE.
“Over a number of years the groups illegally released online more than 2,500 films including Argo, the Avengers and Skyfall,” FACT said in a statement.
“The outreach of their criminality was vast. On just one website where the group shared their films there had been millions of downloads.”
Speaking at Wolverhampton Crown Court, FACT prosecutor David Groome said that the men had gone to great lengths to avoid being detected. But was that really the case and just how easy was it to track them down?
TF has obtained papers detailing the FACT investigation and they reveal that unmasking the men was surprisingly easy. In descending sentence length:
Sahil Rafiq – Jailed for 4 years and 6 months
In July 2012 a FACT investigator began monitoring Rafiq’s release group, 26K. He found that many of the torrents had been uploaded by a user known as ‘memory100′.
It was discovered that ‘memory100′ had a profile on torrent site Torlock and it was determined that the same user also went under other names including ‘sohail20′,…