Three Frenchmen Face 5 Years and $700,000 for Running a File Sharing Site

The fight against illegal file sharing sites took a trip to France to this week as the alleged men in charge of one of France's most popular file sharing links forums have all been arrested. The three men accused of copyright shenanigans ran a site known as Liberty Land, which has been in operation since 2009 and was currently serving around 800,000 members at the time it was shut down. If convicted, the three men, none of which are older than 30, could face sentences of up to 5 years behind bars and fines of $700,000.

Liberty Land falls into France's top 200 sites and contains some 30,000 links to albums and 100,000 links to movies and TV shows. The links direct users to third-party downloading services like MegaUpload and RapidShare; none of the illicit content is actually hosted on Liberty Land's servers. Furthermore, according to TorrentFreak, Liberty Land utilized hosting services in Canada because of the way the country's copyright law is structured.

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Between Canada's copyright law and measures put in place by the site admins to remain anonymous, authorities described the investigation leading up to the arrests as "difficult," albeit ultimately successful. TorrentFreak says the men may have made as much as $285,300 in revenue from banner advertising on the site, noting that they could be charged with organized counterfeiting.