The Serious Organised Crime Agency has closed down music website RnBXclusive.com and says those who used it could be fined and imprisoned.
SOCA threatened users with an ‘unlimited' fine and up to ten years imprisonment as it claimed the music site shared files that were ‘stolen from the artists', resulting in losses of 15m per year to businesses and artists.
A man has been arrested for fraud and is currently on bail pending enquiries. SOCA says the website obtained music – including unreleased tracks – by hacking.
One other music site has already taken itself offline following the news, another is considering following suit and a third says it is now only dealing in ‘legal music files' going forwards.
The news comes after MegaUpload was shut by US piracy officials last month. The site's owner Kim Dotcom was arrested.
BBC reports a takedown notice on the R ‘n' B website read: The majority of music files that were available via this site were stolen from the artists.
If you have downloaded music using this website you may have committed a criminal offence which carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine under UK law.
SOCA has the capability to monitor and investigate you, and can inform your internet service provider of these infringements.”