Anti-piracy chief quits

Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) chief Michael Speck has resigned from his position saying he would be "leaving to do some things that I haven't been able to do because of how busy I've been". Speck became known for his crusade against music piracy in Australia.

Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) chief Michael Speck has resigned from his position saying he would be "leaving to do some things that I haven't been able to do because of how busy I've been".

Speck became known for his crusade against music piracy in Australia. He led the investigation against peer-to-peer software provider Sharman Networks, which became one of the highest-profile music industry cases to date.

The trial against Sharman started last year on November 28 with closing statements scheduled for March of this year. Australian record companies are suing Sharman Networks and other parties for alleged copyright infringements stemming from the distribution of Kazaa P2P software.

Speck also led the investigation against Internet service provider Comcen and the operator of the Web site mp3s4free.net. The record companies claim that Comcen benefited directly from the increased traffic on its servers as a result of the unauthorised trade of music files on the mp3s4free Web site, and that the relationship between Web site operator Stephen Cooper and Comcen extended beyond what may be expected from that between a Web site owner and its Internet provider.

Describing his continued commitment to these cases, Speck said he was "completely committed to the cases now", and would not be leaving office until he saw them through. April 15 will be his last day as general manager of MIPI.

"I'll still be involved in other cases but I won't be the general manager of MIPI," he added. "Interviews to replace me will be taking place over the next few weeks."

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