Alan Ellis, the founder of BitTorrent site Oink, has been found not guilty in the case against him in the U.K. Ellis ran Oink, which helped spread free music files in a variety of formats, from his flat in England, until it was forcibly shut down in 2007. It’s estimated that 21 million illegal music files were downloaded as a result of the activities on Oink.
But the site didn’t host any music, and its 200,000 users simply downloaded small torrent files from the site to easily allow them to share music between computers. Ellis claimed he used the site to ”further my skills. To better my skills for employability,” which tied in with his job as a software engineer.
Ellis was found not guilty of conspiracy to defraud at Teeside Crown Court, in the first ever case of its type to reach the prosecution stage in the U.K. Around $300,000 was found in various bank accounts belonging to Ellis—most of which was thought to be donations made to him by the site’s users.