Feds Cracking Down on Film & TV Piracy Online

The LA Times reported today that the federal government has shut down a number of sites that featured films and television shows for illegal download and/or stream as part of their renewed effort to curb piracy online.

ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) chief John Morton trumpeted the bust as the beginning of a “long-term effort to turn the tables on these thieves.”

It looks like this may be the beginning of a concerted effort to shut down illegal sites all over the internet.

Federal authorities announced that they had seized domain names from nine websites engaged in the “criminal theft of American movies and television.” The websites include TVShack.net, PlanetMoviez.com, ThePirateCity.org and Ninjavideo.net. Combined, the sites drew 6.7 million visitors a month, authorities said.

Officials also seized assets from 15 bank, investment and advertising accounts and executed residential search warrants in North Carolina, New York, New Jersey and Washington, according to a statement from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which coordinated its investigation with the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies.

The crackdown, which involved 100 agents working in 11 states and the Netherlands, was part of a renewed campaign dubbed Operation in Our Sites by federal authorities to curb Internet counterfeiting and piracy. The announcement comes a week after the Obama administration unveiled a detailed plan on how to tackle global piracy, including targeting illegal websites.

If you are one of the millions who used these sites, what will you do now? Find new sites? Curb your streaming/downloading? Stop altogether? Sound off in the comments or join the discussion in our forum!

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