Immigration Patrol Steps Up Fight Against Online Movie Piracy
The Washington Post
Getting a free and illegal peek at “Toy Story” or “Prince of Persia” on the Internet just got harder, as the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement steps up its patrol of Web sites that stream copyright-protected content without permission.
ICE and the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York announced on Wednesday an initiative they are calling “Operation In Our Sites,” which is aimed at battling counterfeiting and piracy online.
They’ve begun Wednesday by seizing the domain names of seven Web sites that offer first-run movies, such as tvshack.net, moviews-links.tv, and filespump.com.
Online piracy of entertainment content has been a source of frustration for Hollywood, which argues that it is losing out on fortunes and losing jobs to lost revenues as movies and shows get circulated for free on the Internet. Some public interest groups agree that illegal piracy should be stopped but say that stopping streaming or counterfeiting should be a transparent process so users are aware of how authorities are affecting their access to Web sites.
“We are dedicated to protecting the jobs, the income and the tax revenue that disappear when organized criminals traffic in stolen movies for their own profit,” said ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton.
Morton was joined by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York, and representatives of Motion Picture Association of America in Los Angeles on Wednesday to announce the partnership.