With feds cracking down on internet piracy at the same time as internet groups try to quash lawsuits against file sharers, it’s beginning to look as if both sides are taking the legality of file sharing more seriously.
As the Electronic Frontier Foundation went to court to argue that the US Copyright Group’s mass lawsuits against over 14,000 individuals accusing of illegally downloading movies should be thrown out on the grounds that the high number of plaintiffs will result in unfair trials and may, in fact, be targeting people who haven’t downloaded movies but had their IP spoofed by others, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced the launch of “Operation In Our Sites,” a new program to shut down internet piracy.
US ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton explained in a statement,
ICE and our partners at the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center are targeting pirate Web sites run by people who have no respect for creativity and innovation… 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.
The initiative has already resulted in the seizure of nine domain names and fifteen “bank, Paypal, investment and advertising” accounts, as well as four residential search warrants in states across the US. Maybe they were waiting for a day when they knew the EFF’s attention would be elsewhere.
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