Source: CNet News. June 30th. Check it out Here.
A week after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Warned that the government would start cracking down on illegal file sharing, the feds swooped in and seized assets belonging to operators of accused movie-pirating sites.
The government on Wednesday also took control of at least seven of the sites in question: Movies-Links.tv, Now-Movies.com, TVShack.net, Filespump.com, Planetmoviez.com, ZML.com, ThePirateCity.org, Ninjavideo.net, and NinjaThis.net. More than a dozen bank, investment, and advertising accounts were seized, and authorities served search warrants on residences in several different states.
Authorities are searching for operators of the sites as part of an ongoing criminal investigation, according to Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The crimes that the operators are accused of committing weren't clear, but some of the sites are accused of distributing film copies prior to their theatrical release.
As of 3 p.m. PDT, some of the sites were still operating, but government officials said they anticipated the sites would come under government control within hours.
The investigation involved multiple law enforcement groups, including the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and ICE, a unit of the Department of Homeland Security.
Last week, Biden and Victoria Espinel, the U.S. intellectual property enforcement coordinator, told reporters that they wanted to send a message to counterfeiters and pirates that this administration was intent on protecting the nation's intellectual property. Espinel directed a statement at those people who trafficked in phony goods or unauthorized music and movies: "We have committed to putting you out of business."
ICE and the Department of Justice both suggested Wednesday that these types of seizures and investigations are just the beginning.
More to come
That's right boys and girls, the Federal Government is now shutting down websites and Law Firms owned by corporate movie makers are Suing Private Citizens who are using Peer to Peer programs like LimeWire and uTorrent. That's right, they're even shutting down Peer to Peer programs and Suing every day "Joe Blow" users who have downloaded Movies, Games, and MP3's. If you'd like the proof of this happening right now, there's some mess going on about the movie "Hurt Locker" which some guy shared on LimeWire. Now the makers of the movie are Suing the distributers such as the makers of LimeWire and even going as far as to file suite against 5,000 yet un-named people. Don't think they are, that they can't? They ARE!!! Here's Proof!!! The Government themselves have started shutting down domains and are petitioning ISP's for their users names and home addresses so that other law firms can also file suite against home users just for "watching" something online without even having downloaded it to their computer. Seen this picture anywhere lately?
Source: CNet News. June 11th. Check it out Here.
In Arizona, a law firm called White Berberian recently began advertising on its site that it will defend those accused of illegal file sharing by Dunlap Grubb & Weaver. That is the firm, which also goes by the name U.S. Copyright Group, that is filing lawsuits on behalf of filmmakers who claim their movies were pirated by thousands of peer-to-peer users.
In addition to the Oscar-winning film "The Hurt Locker," Dunlap Grubb represents about a dozen movies, including "Far Cry" and "Call of the Wild 3D." The law firm has said that it will sue more than 50,000 alleged file sharers.
So far, it appears thousands of people have received settlement offers from Dunlap Grubb and many are confused about their rights. Typically, people learn about being accused of violating copyright law from their Internet service providers, which inform them that they have received a subpoena to turn over their identity to Dunlap Grubb.
"While we cannot guarantee a particular outcome, if we cannot negotiate a settlement better than what Plaintiff offered, we will refund your money."
--White Berberian law firm
The law firm usually follows up with a form letter informing the accused that someone using their Internet protocol address was illegally sharing one of the films. Dunlap Grubb then tells the accused file sharer that they can settle the case for $1,500 if they move quickly. If they wait, the firm will charge them $2,500 and if they decide to fight it out in court, Dunlap Grubb can ask for up to $150,000
That's right, another 500,000 people are going to be sued. That's Half A Million People!!! Not rich people. Not Hard Core pirates. Not the people who ripped the movie and put it up on the Internet. Normal users or even parents who's kids installed LimeWire and the parents didn't even know what it was, much less that it was technically being used for something "Illegal". LimeWire is just the start too. Now that the Government is in on the action you can bet that all these other Peer to Peer services will be next, and that includes torrents.
It's odd though as I didn't think "Peer to Peer" programs had "Servers" that could be shut down that would stop a program from working but apparently they do. Some how they can shut down programs like LimeWire and uTorrent as well as sue the people who made it and are using it. ISP's are willingly handing over records of everything your IP downloads and every website you visit. Chances are if you even go to what will soon be a "black listed" site your name will go onto a "watch-list" or you'll soon be getting a statement from your ISP quickly followed by a court notice that you are being sued.
YouTube was granted a "Exception" because it actively takes pirated and copyrighted materials down and because it has plenty of content that is "User Made" and not copyrighted. Check out this article on CNet News about the differences between YouTube and LimeWire and how exactly one can be shut down and not the other.
Web copyright: YouTube up, Lime Wire down. Source: CNet News. June 30th
This is only the beginning everyone. The sh!ts hitting the fan and the common people are about to feel the pinch of the Heavy Hand of Corporate Government.