Stockholm-based file-sharing hub the Pirate Bay has been taken offline following a server room raid on Tuesday (December 9) by Swedish police.
One the biggest names in illegal online file-sharing, the service is currently unavailable after police seized servers and computers at the request of anti-piracy group Rights Alliance.
A statement from Rights Alliance's Sara Lindbäck on the organization's website reads: "Pirate Bay is an illegal commercial service that makes considerable earnings by infringing the works of others. The infringements affect all creators and it also hinders the growth of the legal services."
Swedish police national coordinator for IP enforcement Paul Pinder has confirmed that there was a raid, that it took place in Stockholm and that it involves the Pirate Bay and copyright infringement, but has not offered further details.
Co-founder of the file-sharing giant, Fredrik Neij was arrested in Thailand last month under an Interpol warrant. Swedish courts found him guilty of aiding copyright infringement in 2009, and he fled the country. His creative partner Gottfrid Svartholm Warg is currently facing a three-and-a-half-year jail sentence for a computer hacking scandal in Denmark. Third co-founder Peter Sunde was also arrested earlier this year.
In an interview with the Toronto Star, UK internet crime expert Graham Cluley noted the trouble with shutting down services like the Pirate Bay. "Welcome to whack-a-mole, Pirate Bay style," he told the newspaper. "Pirate Bay may or may not have suffered a fatal blow today, but it is hard to imagine that others will not see the site's troubles as an opportunity to fill the void and pop up in its place."
The website has been down since Tuesday morning. Several other torrent related sites including EZTV, Zoink, Torrage and the Istole tracker are also down.
UPDATE: As a commenter has pointed out, Pirate Bay has indeed relaunched with a URL hosted from Costa Rica at http://thepiratebay.cr. However, since the new mirrored Pirate Bay relies on the original site for data, searching or browsing for torrents is near impossible and full functionality has yet to be attained.