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Hackers affiliated with Anonymous have taken responsibility for a denial of service attack against the web site of GVU, a German rights holders organization that was involved in the takedown of unlicensed video streaming portal Kino.to earlier this week. Kino.to admins meanwhile remain in police custody, but an uploader affiliated with the site has gone on record in German media saying the story of Kino.to “isn’t over yet.”
Law enforcement officials in a number of European countries raided residences, offices and data centers on Wednesday, arresting 13 admins affiliated with Kino.to. German press reported on Thursday that 12 suspects remain in custody.
The raid was the consequence of a three-year long investigation against the site, which had been offering its users links to TV shows and Hollywood blockbusters hosted on third-party video streaming servers. Officials allege that Kino.to had up to four million daily visitors and that its admins made millions with the site. GVU, which pressed charges against Kino.to in 2008, celebrated the raid as the end of a “parasitic business model.”
Anonymous activists apparently don’t agree. In a German-language YouTube video (s goog), the group said Kino.to was merely a search engine. From the video:
“We believe that running a search engine for videos isn’t illegal… That’s why we immediately reacted by taking down the GVU website… Knowledge is free, and streaming is, too.”
Gvu.de remained offline at the time of writing. The same was true for Kino.to, but some believe that the site could soon make a return. An uploader affiliated with the site told a German online magazine that he believes there are backup copies of the site, which could be used to revive it on different servers. The story of Kino.to “isn’t over yet,” he said. The uploader explained that he never directly worked with the site’s admins, but instead simply supplied links to TV show episodes through a kind of CMS backend.
He also said that being an uploader of video content can be moderately profitable. Third-party streaming video sites oftentimes reward uploaders for traffic they generate, and in his case, uploading U.S. TV show episodes and supplying the links to Kino.to enabled him to make about $1000 per month.