Yesterday, you'll recall, the Serious Organised Crime Agency closed down a website and slapped up a dire warning:
A takedown notice warned visitors who have used the site to download music they could face up to 10 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.Is it really the job of the police to accept at face value what are clearly made-up sums of loss of money?
Soca said music posted on the site was "stolen from the artists" and may have "damaged careers".
A man has been arrested for fraud and bailed pending further enquiries, police told the BBC.
"Soca targets organised criminal enterprises profiting from the exploitation of the UK public and legitimate businesses," the agency said in a statement.
"Much of the music offered for download by the RnBXclusive.com website was illegally obtained from artists, leading the industry to attribute losses of approximately £15m per year to the site's activity."
Today, The Inquirer spoke to SOCA asking them about the threats of ten inside:
When asked to explain the somewhat dramatic threat of 10 years in prison for those who visited the web site, the spokesman said, "If you download music that has been illegally obtained, you can be accused of fraud, if you are deemed to be part of the conspiracy to defraud."Warning people about how they use the internet? This, supposedly, is the part of the police which deals with the most serious threats to life, limb and liberty; all of a sudden, they're worrying about a few dodgy R&B tracks and offering educational tips to people about "how they use the internet". Seems, at best, a questionable use of our money.
We put it to him that most users would have unknowingly downloaded the allegedly illegal content anyway, and he admitted that the web site splash page was aimed at "warning people about how they use the internet."