Au Revoir, torrent Zone Telechargement et DL-Protect. Tu vas nous manquer.
Two weeks ago, French military police seized immensely popular private music torrent tracker What.CD. Now, they’ve taken down an even bigger prize: Zone-Telechargement.com.
According to Alexa.com, the popular French torrent site ranked #11 in French websites, and 442 all over the world. Zone-Telechargement.com had millions of visitors.
The official Twitter account for the French National Gendarmerie took credit for the takedown.
— GendarmerieNationale (@Gendarmerie) 28 de noviembre de 2016
Roughly translated, the tweet reads,
“# CyberSecurity Closure of an illegal download site #Music #Films #Games after SR #Toulouse & # C3N ➡️Prevention 75M €.”
The tweet estimated that the website caused over €75 million in damages alone. Zone Telechargement offered direct film, games, and music downloads, among others.
The website, founded in 2011, surged after MegaUpload shut down. The website was hugely popular in France.
The National Gendarmerie also took down a second site. Direct-download site DL-Protect also went offline. However, the Twitter account didn’t give details on this. Alexa ranks DL-Protect as the 19th top French site, and #823 around the world. Zataz.com broke the news, and wrote that both sites generated €10 million in revenue.
French authorities worked with Andorran police. In total, authorities apprehended seven people, with two still in custody. The same people allegedly ran both sites. Furthermore, authorities seized real estate, bank accounts, and several cars, along with various bitcoin wallets. This is part of SACAM, the French music industry group and movie group ALPA’s attempts to shut down online piracy.
TorrentFreak reports that SACAM will issue an official comment later on today.