RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Three people were arrested by London police in connection to a copyright violation involving a remade version of the Disney website Club Penguin.
The city of London police issued a bulletin on the “Club Penguin Rewritten” website stating “This site has been taken over by Operation Creative, Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).”
Police added in a statement that “three people were arrested on April 12 on suspicion of distributing materials infringing copyright, and searches were carried out.”
Club Penguin Rewritten launched in 2017 around the same time that the original Club Penguin site was closed by Disney.
In the original Club Penguin game, players immersed themselves in a virtual world as a penguin who could play games, buy clothes, own a pet, and chat with others using the site.
Club Penguin Rewritten used the same coding as the original site to allow users to continue using Club Penguin servers even after Disney shut down the website. By 2022, tens of millions of accounts had been rgeistered on the site.
Disney issued multiple Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaints to take down numerous sites, including Club Penguin Rewritten.
One of these sites, Club Penguin Online, was taken down in 2020 after Disney issued copyright claims on the heels of a BBC investigation that revealed players were discussing “racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic and sexual messages” on a site designed for and regularly visited by children.
Disney’s Club Penguin site banned certain language and set up moderators to eliminate any person from the site that may mention vulgar material. However, these restrictions were either not present or easy to bypass on clone websites like Club Penguin Online.
A person involved with Club Penguin Online was arrested around the same time on child pornography charges.
Club Penguin clone sites still exist, including “New Club Penguin” and “Club Penguin Chapter 2.”