Continuing its crackdown on software pirates, German police arrested a 46-year-old lawyer, two brothers and a teenager on Thursday for allegedly selling illegal software, movies, games and music through a commercial online service, according to the German Federation Against Copyright Theft (GVU).
The arrests came after GVU, which had uncovered substantial evidence, tipped off police in the German states of Thüringen, Lower Saxony and Bavaria, the association said Thursday.
The four Germans had operated the high-speed e-commerce service, www.ftpwelt.com, from June 2003 to September 2004, GVU said. More than 45,000 customers paid a monthly flat rate of Euro 135 (US$165) for the premium content, which was downloaded from servers located outside of Germany.
Damages are estimated to be in the millions of euros from lost revenue, GVU said.
The arrests come just four days a German court sentenced a father and son to jail for copyright infringement and selling counterfeit Microsoft Corp. software.