US government seizes 77 piracy and counterfeit domains

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The US government has seized at least 77 domains belonging to sites associated with P2P file sharing and counterfeit goods. It appears that their owners were not notified, and the court system was apparently skipped, according to TorrentFreak.

The seizures were carried out suddenly and without warning by a branch of Homeland Security known as ICE. Many of the seized domains were online stores offering counterfeit goods, but there were also a few piracy websites, including a torrent search engine.

Torrent-Finder.com was a meta-search engine, meaning it didn't host BitTorrent links itself, but it offered an interface that loaded a selection of other BitTorrent search engines in iframes on the page. In other words, it didn't host copyright material, nor links to copyright material, but rather links to links to copyright material.

All of these domains now display the image shown above. Here is the corresponding text:

This domain name has been seized by ICE - Homeland Security Investigations, pursuant to a seizure warrant issued by a United States District Court under the authority of 18 U.S.C. 981 and 2323.

Willful copyright infringement is a federal crime that carries penalties for first time offenders of up to five years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution (17 U.S.C 506, 18 U.S.C 2319). Intentionally and knowingly trafficking in counterfeit goods is a federal crime that carries penalties for first time offenders of up to ten years in federal prison, a $2,000,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution (18 U.S.C. 2320).


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