Friday, July 29, 2005

DOJ Busts Some Big Time IP Pirates

The gov't isn't playing games when it comes to IP enforcement. I wonder if this bust will actually put any sort of damper on the trade in illegal IP though. If they really nailed a bunch of top distributors it will probably create a very brief hiccup, but there are sure to be others ready and willing to take the place of the busted. Check out this release, the last paragraph I pasted is the most interesting if you're just going to skim:

'Today's charges strike at the top of the copyright piracy supply chain-a technologically-sophisticated, highly organized distribution network that provides most of the copyrighted software, movies, games, and music illegally distributed over the Internet,' said Acting Assistant Attorney General Richter. 'Cases like these are part of the Department's coordinated strategy to protect copyright owners from the online thieves who steal and then sell the products they work so hard to produce.'

Operations FastLink and Site Down resulted in a total of more than 200 search warrants executed in 15 countries; the confiscation of hundreds of computers and illegal online distribution hubs; and the removal of more than 100 million dollars worth of illegally-copied copyrighted software, games, movies, and music from illicit distribution channels. Countries participating in these U.S.-led operations included: France, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Hungary, Israel, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Belgium, and Germany. Both Operations FastLink and Site Down were the culmination of multiple FBI undercover investigations, but only one of those investigations participated in both operations: the Charlotte undercover investigation responsible for today's charges. The charges announced today reflect the commitment of the United States Attorney's Office to aggressively protect intellectual property rights which are increasingly important in today's information age.

'Operations FastLink and Site Down reinforce the commitment of federal law enforcement agencies to protect intellectual property rights and to maintain the integrity of our copyright laws. Agents of the FBI and their Department of Justice counterpart.
The defendants charged today were leading members in the illegal software, game, movie, and music trade online, commonly referred to as the "warez scene." They acted as leaders, crackers, suppliers, distribution site hosts or site administrators. All were affiliated with organized warez groups that acted as "first-providers" of copyrighted works to the Internet -- the so-called "release" groups that are the original sources for a majority of the pirated works distributed and downloaded via the Internet. Once a warez release group prepares a stolen work for distribution, the material is distributed in minutes to secure, top-level warez servers throughout the world. From there, within a matter of hours, the pirated works are distributed globally, filtering down to peer-to-peer and other public file sharing networks accessible to anyone with Internet access.
U.S. Newswire : Releases : "DOJ Announces Eight Charged In Internet Piracy Crackdown..."


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