Five sites belonging to the Italianshare network and two of its affiliated sites have been sequestered by the Guardia di Finanza (the Italian military corps dealing with customs, excise and tax crimes) in Agropoli in the Province of Salerno, following an investigation into illegal sharing of copyrighted material.
The sites appear to have been offering a link indexing service through which their users could access copyrighted material such as films, software, video games, music and books.
Although the illegal material was not hosted on Italianshare’s servers, external web pages from other sites could be found through their indexing service which offered the possibility to view or download files illegally.
The still ongoing investigation is now aimed at quantifying the proceeds deriving from managing the network, which hosted several banner ads on its pages, as well as identifying all those who took part in its organization.
As has already happened in similar cases, the “sequestration” of sites has been put into practice in the form of a blackout, carried out by a block on access made by each Italian ISP.
The principal administrator of Italianshare was identified as a 49 year old man from Agropoli who was known online by the nickname of “Tex Willer”. He is now at risk of criminal sanctions, as are also those who have contributed to the illegal sharing of works.
According to what several online magazines have reported, investigators are also looking into the source of the donations made to the site through PayPal accounts.