Last month, vice-president Joe Biden told reporters that online piracy was “no different than smashing a window at Tiffany’s,” and that the government would be expanding efforts to shut piracy sites down. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reports, the first shutdowns began:
In an ongoing fight against intellectual piracy, federal authorities seized the domain names of nine websites accused of letting users watch on-demand versions of first-run movies.
Referring to the sites as “among the most popular” websites for distributing illegal copies of movies, the government highlighted copies of films currently in theaters, such as “Toy Story 3” and “The A-Team,” for evidence to obtain the warrant.
The nine sites had registered their domain names via U.S.-based registration services, allowing authorities to take control of their site addresses. Some were run on computers based in the U.S.—in Colorado, Florida and Illinois. But others used computers based in Germany, the Netherlands, the U.K. and the Czech Republic.