Pigs Do Fly: OiNK Founder Set Free

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Aidan Williamson

18th January 2010
At 11:27 GMT

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Alan Ellis, who stood charged of fraud and copyright infringement up until this week, is going home with a clean record after he was cleared of all charges.

Ellis started the Bittorrent tracker and music community back in 2004 as a way to further his skills as a software engineer. At its peak, the community was said to have 180,000 members. OiNK's Pink Palace was an invitation-only service which allowed users to share torrents (a map for computers showing where to find a particular file on the internet) of music, e-books, software and e-learning videos.

His was something of a test case since he was the first person in the U.K to be prosecuted for illegal file-sharing.

Mr Ellis told the court there was no intention to defraud copyright holders. He said the donations he received (police found $300,000 in his bank accounts upon his arrest) were to pay for server costs and any "surplus" would be utilised in upgrading the hardware that the service ran on.

On Friday Teesside Crown Court cleared him of all charges meaning that his is free to return to his career as a software developer. Well hey, if the Napster guys could do it...

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