US AUTHORITIES have seized more domain names accused of infringing copyright and selling counterfeit goods.
The domains were seized and closed by the US Department of Justice and Immigration and Customs Enforcement as part of an operation called "Operation In Our Sites".
The authories gained new powers to tackle so-called 'piracy' online after the Protect IP Act was passed by the US Congress last week. The bill gives law enforcement agencies the ability to block web sites at ISPs, censor search engines, freeze assets and seize domains.
The web sites seized include re1ease.net and watchnewfilms.com, which are charged with 'piracy'. According to Torrentfreak, neither web site hosted infringing content, but both linked to movie streaming web sites like Veoh.com and Megavideo.com.
Other domains taken down in the operation include dvdcollectionsale.com, dvdscollection, dvdsetsonline.com, and newstylerolex.com, all of which are charged with selling counterfeit products.
The majority of the web sites involved were reported by representatives of the music industry, a fact previously admitted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton.
This is the fourth round of domain seizures in the US operation, suggesting a major crackdown on online 'piracy' and counterfeiting. Round one saw the seizure of eight domains, while round two saw a massive increase to 82 domains. Ten more web sites were seized in round three, coinciding with the Super Bowl in February.
The domains might be down, but the businesses behind them are likely to continue. Torrentfreak said that more than half of the companies involved in domain seizures are continuing to operate under a new name. While this might be true, Immigration and Customs Enforcement believes that the seizures will act as a good deterrent from 'piracy' for many among the general public. µ