In a ruling which has come as a major blow to the music industry, a computer programmer who was responsible for the creation and operation of one the world's biggest pirate music websites, was yesterday absolved of all charges of fraud.
26 year old Alan Ellis was accused of "ripping off" record labels and musicians massively by running Oink, an illegal music sharing file which he run from his bedroom while he was a student.
The programmer reportedly made thousands of pounds through the site before it was shut down in 2007.
Ellis, however, had told the jurors that he had only created the site in 2004 to brush up his computing skills and there was no hosting of music itself on the website.
"I didn't have an intention [in setting up the site]. I was furthering my skills as a programmer, as a software engineer. [It was] to better my skills for employability", he said.
The British Recorded Music Industry has stressed that the verdict is highly disappointing. "The defendant made nearly ?200,000 by exploiting other people's work without permission. The case shows that artists and music companies need better protection", the body said.
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