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Feds and Hollywood Seize Domains of Movie Pirates

samzenpus posted about 4 years ago | from the mine-now-I-take-it dept.

Crime 181

adeelarshad82 writes "The federal government and Hollywood teamed up to seize domain names of seven sites that allegedly trafficked in copyrighted movies without due payment. The so-called 'Operation in Our Sites' sting targeted TVShack.net, Movies-links.tv, Filespump.com, Now-movies.com, PlanetMoviez.com, PirateCity.org, zml.com, NinjaVideo.net, and NinjaThis.net. The operation was run by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, in conjunction with several Hollywood studios. Unlike past anti-piracy efforts, the sites did not actually offer the movies for download, but instead streamed the movies and TV shows against ads. Previously, movie crackdowns had concentrated on sites that distributed movie files, most recently using the BitTorrent protocol."

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Errr... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32755292)

... put your sword away, no use you getting beat again ...

- Jack Sparrow

Great Win for HollyWood and the Feds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32755314)

Lets take down domain names no one knows about, hasn't ever heard of, and claim a great victory. For as we know when the big man steps on the little justice is served. If piracy is really an issue lets find ways to make it stop. Quit writing crappy "security" enforcement, such as DRM or "no network connection/no play", and other forms of stupidty. Make high quality games for a great price.

Re:Great Win for HollyWood and the Feds (2, Insightful)

thijsh (910751) | about 4 years ago | (#32755348)

Shit, they took down a pirate and *two* ninja's man! Think about the unholy alliance of ninja pirates who will take their revenge and seize what is erRRRrrrrrrightfully theirs. :)

Re:Great Win for HollyWood and the Feds (1)

JohnBailey (1092697) | about 4 years ago | (#32755552)

Shit, they took down a pirate and *two* ninja's man! Think about the unholy alliance of ninja pirates who will take their revenge and seize what is erRRRrrrrrrightfully theirs. :)

They only took down the Ninjas because there was two of them. Never forget the inverse Ninja rule.

Re:Great Win for HollyWood and the Feds (2, Interesting)

thijsh (910751) | about 4 years ago | (#32755634)

Yes! They can never defeat the last Ninja. I propose we only keep Ninja.com, it is also useful for searching for torrents: Google Ninja [google.com]

Re:Great Win for HollyWood and the Feds (0, Offtopic)

jgagnon (1663075) | about 4 years ago | (#32755804)

I beat The Last Ninja 2 on my Commodore 64 in a Saturday morning. I was so upset. I think I also beat Impossible Mission 2 that same morning.

On an unrelated note, lucky for the folks involved that they didn't meet any Lumberjack Commandos.

Re:Great Win for HollyWood and the Feds (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 years ago | (#32755458)

A site that has the bandwidth to share 600mb to ~x gb clips in whole or part on demand?
Or are they are going after the link sites under cover of the "streamed" term?
So where are the magical streaming servers?

Re:Great Win for HollyWood and the Feds (5, Informative)

jaggeh (1485669) | about 4 years ago | (#32755544)

90% of tvshacks content was hosted on megavideo, its still there, just go to another link site.

no news here as there was no accomplishment from the feds.

Re:Great Win for HollyWood and the Feds (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 years ago | (#32755624)

So a link hunt for the indexing and compiling of external links.
If the sites that point to the files dont exist then the files cannot be found?
To what link depth will they go until they rise up to the search engines level?
Physical file ~search engine~ link site ~search engine~ forum ~search engine~ search engine cache.

You Americans don't need to fear "terrorists". (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32755316)

It's the corporations that are most harmful to your freedom.

You Americans *do* need to fear terrorists. (5, Insightful)

thijsh (910751) | about 4 years ago | (#32755460)

Corporation and Terrorism are not mutually exclusive. The effect of terrorism is that by harming a few people you hurt the majority by creating fear and thus terrorizing them, reducing their quality of life and freedoms. This also does not require blowing yourself up (hence the reason the term 'terrified' does not mean 'blown to bits'). If people stick to this proper definition (instead of modern sensationalism) it becomes very clear this applies to the media corporations tactics. They sue a few (actually thousands, more than have been blown up by Al Qaida) to terrorize others, and nobody knows if they will be sued (the little fact of downloading is not even relevant, anyone got sued by them).

So you Americans *do* need to fear terrorists (and thus some corporations), it's just that your idea of what terrorism means is all FOXed up.

Re:You Americans *do* need to fear terrorists. (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#32755588)

In our defense, we are, for the most part, reactionary lower-level mammals.

I kid, I kid. But seriously...fellow Americans, stop being so terrified of anyone that looks lightly tanned, stop believing everything the government tells you, and for all that you think is holy, stop watching mainstream news. Remember: just because you agree with it doesn't make it unbiased.

Re:You Americans *do* need to fear terrorists. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32755708)

Remember: just because you agree with it doesn't make it unbiased.

Agreed.

Re:You Americans *do* need to fear terrorists. (1)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#32755756)

... .. ...

I think you just divided by zero.

Re:You Americans *do* need to fear terrorists. (2, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 years ago | (#32755646)

The effect of terrorism is that by harming a few people you hurt the majority by creating fear and thus terrorizing them, reducing their quality of life and freedoms.

If the purpose of this seizure was to frighten people into not pirating movies, I can tell you with some certainty: It did not work.

Personally, I think this was just blowback for all the terrible reviews of Twilight Eclipse.

Re:You Americans *do* need to fear terrorists. (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 4 years ago | (#32755738)

Removing the requirement of violence or the threat of violence from any definition of terrorism is just dumb.

Sure the root word doesn't require violence, but that's irrelevant since words have meanings on their own.

Use a different word, terrorism has been taken for 200 years to mean something else.

Re:You Americans *do* need to fear terrorists. (2, Insightful)

orasio (188021) | about 4 years ago | (#32756652)

How is seizing a domain not violence?
It's government backed, legal violence, but it is.
And there are threats of jailing people also. Jailing someone is physical violence.

Re:You Americans *do* need to fear terrorists. (2, Informative)

Nadaka (224565) | about 4 years ago | (#32757032)

Removing the requirement of plundering ships at sea for hostages and wealth from any definition of piracy is just dumb.

Removing the requirement of depriving another of their property from any definition of the word theft is just dumb.

That hasn't stopped the copyright cartels from doing just that.

Re:You Americans *do* need to fear terrorists. (4, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#32755850)

I find it disturbing that yesterday I saw this in an AP story at Yahoo News, where they said "Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials worked with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security".

I went to link it in this comment today, and it's been edited; it now reads "Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials worked with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and other government agencies."

I agree with you; DHS is on the wrong side here, and the entire government as well, in all liklihood. Obviously the corporate press says whatever the government wants them to say, and the corporations are the ones who pay for elections, so they effectively own our government.

It really pisses me off, and I can't see anything I can do about it.

Re:You Americans *do* need to fear terrorists. (2, Insightful)

thijsh (910751) | about 4 years ago | (#32756376)

It really pisses me off, and I can't see anything I can do about it.

Others say that, and then become 'terrorists'... The phrase is used so loosely it is used often instead of: revolutionary, guerrilla's, resistance fighter, or plain old heroes. It depends completely on perspective... the Germans called the Dutch who blew up their trains and transports 'terrorists', but we now call them heroes. And the patriots who fought in the civil war would also have been called terrorists, and they would have gone down in history as such if they would have lost...

The point is you *can* do something about it, just speak out loud (and keep last resorts for times so dark you can't see any light from a spark of hope around you). But you have to become immune to the people who completely miss the point and try to label critical people as 'unpatriotic'... When you criticize your countries wrongdoings you are the greatest patriot there is, because you love your country so much you will fight against all odds to improve or preserve it's values.

Re:You Americans *do* need to fear terrorists. (2, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | about 4 years ago | (#32756636)

It really pisses me off, and I can't see anything I can do about it.

Write a letter to the editor. Put in a freedom of information request. Bring up discrepancies like this at political debates. Take out ads. Make noise. Run for office.

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Re:You Americans *do* need to fear terrorists. (3, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#32757850)

Write a letter to the editor.

I do, frequently. Oddly, the corporate State Jorrnal-Register has never printed a single one, while the independant (and free as in beer) Illinois Times almost always prints them. Writing a letter to the editor does no more good than writing your corporate-owned congressman if it isn't printed.

Run for office.

I'd lose.

Re:You Americans don't need to fear "terrorists". (5, Informative)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 4 years ago | (#32755562)

It's the corporations that are most harmful to your freedom.

If you want to learn something about corporations, and why you should fear them, then watch "The Corporation". It's a movie-documentary... and at least when I last watched it, it said it was a free download... so the fact that the 7 websites were taken down at least shouldn't affect your education :-)

Since the late 18th century American legal decision that the business corporation organizational model is legally a person, it has become a dominant economic, political and social force around the globe. This film takes an in-depth psychological examination of the organization model through various case studies. What the study illustrates is that in the its behaviour, this type of "person" typically acts like a dangerously destructive psychopath without conscience.

source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379225/plotsummary [imdb.com]

Re:You Americans don't need to fear "terrorists". (1)

ndavis (1499237) | about 4 years ago | (#32756130)

It's the corporations that are most harmful to your freedom.

If you want to learn something about corporations, and why you should fear them, then watch "The Corporation". It's a movie-documentary... and at least when I last watched it, it said it was a free download... so the fact that the 7 websites were taken down at least shouldn't affect your education :-)

Since the late 18th century American legal decision that the business corporation organizational model is legally a person, it has become a dominant economic, political and social force around the globe. This film takes an in-depth psychological examination of the organization model through various case studies. What the study illustrates is that in the its behaviour, this type of "person" typically acts like a dangerously destructive psychopath without conscience.

source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379225/plotsummary [imdb.com]

I agree this was a terrific movie and even my wife who seems to side with corporations most of the time realized that many of them act only in the interest of themselves without a care for anyone else including those they hurt (physically or financially).
This is especially true with the current BP leak that is destroying the lives of those living on the gluf coast.

Re:You Americans don't need to fear "terrorists". (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32757100)

She realises they act in their own interests regardless of who they hurt in the process and yet she still sides with them? Dude, your wife sounds like a douche. Get rid. Unless she's hawt.

Re:You Americans don't need to fear "terrorists". (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#32755726)

I saw this yesterday evening and submitted it, but my emphasis was on something that really pissed me off. The Department of Homeland Security was in one it! Pirates are terrorists now, it seems.

I fear for my country; the corpofacists are ruining it for the actual human beings that live here, and with corporations allowed to donate to both major party candidates, I see no way this will ever change. The government "of the people, by the people, and for the people" has perished from the earth. We now have a government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations; voters be damned.

Re:You Americans don't need to fear "terrorists". (1)

delinear (991444) | about 4 years ago | (#32757138)

They've been pulling the piracy == terrorism crap for a good few years now. It seems like it finally got government backing, that's all.

Re:You Americans don't need to fear "terrorists". (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32755732)

It's the corporations that are most harmful to your freedom.

Like the Democrat National Committee Incorporated.

Re:You Americans don't need to fear "terrorists". (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32756138)

Where are the feds or ANY type of assistance for crimes in my local neighborhood? No where to be found. I find it frustrating the lobbyists have enough clout to get the government to spend so much of my tax payer money fighting an unmeasurable and exaggerated "loss of income" on behalf of these businesses. This "crime" does not involve a loss of property or harming an actual person.

Re:You Americans don't need to fear "terrorists". (2, Insightful)

JWW (79176) | about 4 years ago | (#32756464)

You know, I can't shake this suspicion that I have the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) people might possibly have something better they could be doing with their time than taking over websites.

It is interesting to note that when corporations don't want a federal agency to enforce the laws then that's what happens.

And when corporations do want a federal agency to actually enforce law's then they get their way there too.

You're absolutely correct, in modern America the rights of the corporation, the banks, the unions are upheld and the rights of the individual are too much to pay attention to.

Great priorities (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32755330)

Glad to see that ICE is focusing on really important stuff like stopping movie downloads, rather than the really trivial matters like deporting the 12 million+ illegal aliens.

Re:Great priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32755720)

Moderators: Just because you disagree, doesn't make this a troll.

Re:Great priorities (-1, Flamebait)

stonewallred (1465497) | about 4 years ago | (#32756128)

Need to mod parent the fuck up. Fucking asswipe libs with mod points modding due to disagreement, rather than comment contents.

That figures (2, Informative)

sheph (955019) | about 4 years ago | (#32755354)

No wonder ICE doesn't have time for dealing with our border issues. They're too busy helping Hollywood. I guess Obama kind of owes them since it was their endorsement that helped put him into office.

Advertisers (2, Interesting)

Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) | about 4 years ago | (#32755642)

I wonder if they are pursuing any of the advertisers that were advertising on those sites. If not, that's sort of like busting the illegal immigrants without going after the business that hired them.

WTF do employers have to do with immigration? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about 4 years ago | (#32757434)

I wonder if they are pursuing any of the advertisers that were advertising on those sites. If not, that's sort of like busting the illegal immigrants without going after the business that hired them.

Or it's like busting illegal immigrants without going after the grocery stores that they shop at, or busting the manufacturers of the processors in the illegal immigrants' mobile phones. Or it's like busting pedophiles or red-light-runners without going after their employers (and their grocery stores).

Hey, if you're going to hold third parties responsible for the activities of other people who were not acting at their direction, you might as well go all-out. You only want to bust illegal immigrants' employers?! You are thinking way smalltime and not taking your idea to its logical conclusion. We can use government force against a lot more innocent people than that.

Lorien, if you ever run for evil overlord, I'm not voting for you. You've got the right evil impulses, but you lack vision.

Re:That figures (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32755808)

Oh, give it a rest. You think Obama carried Indiana because Hollywood told us to vote for him?

Re:That figures (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32756044)

No, inbreeding accounts for that fact.

Wrong State (-1, Troll)

FreeUser (11483) | about 4 years ago | (#32756214)

No, inbreeding accounts for that fact.

You're confusing Indiana with Utah.

Re:That figures (2, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 4 years ago | (#32756158)

I guess Obama kind of owes them since it was their endorsement that helped put him into office.

.

See? He is an honest politician - he stays bought.

Method Comparison (3, Informative)

Zephiris (788562) | about 4 years ago | (#32755366)

BitTorrent sites do not have the movie files on them. Users share them at their own expense and risk. They use blockable advertising to offset hosting costs.

Streaming sites obviously do have the files on them, and by using ads embedded into the stream, they were presumably attempting to directly make a notable profit off of the movies and TV shows.

So why were BT sites traditionally the main target instead of profiteering streaming sites? Nevermind how numerous and over-the-top most of the streaming sites seem.

Re:Method Comparison (3, Informative)

Random2 (1412773) | about 4 years ago | (#32755452)

Streaming sites obviously do have the files on them

No, they do not. They embed the video from another site that does contain the file. Hence why every streamer hates the megavideo limits, because it applies no matter what streaming site you visit.

If you want to kill streaming, go after the base that supports them.

Re:Method Comparison (4, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 4 years ago | (#32755764)

If you want to kill streaming, go after the base that supports them.

You want to prosecute screenwriters???

Man, you're hardcore.

Re:Method Comparison (1)

mrogers (85392) | about 4 years ago | (#32757648)

You want to prosecute screenwriters???

No, but you just gave me a great idea for a movie.

In a time... of persecution.
(Long panning shot of writers slaving in the irony mines.)
In a world... ruled... by cliches.
(A single drop of ink falls from a fountain pen onto a concrete floor.)
One writer... showed that the pen... is mightier than the sword.
(Tribal drums, montage of a man scribbling in a darkened room and the usual exploding buses and such.)
Jerry Bruckheimer presents: Enemy of the Plot
This summer... get ready... for the end... of happy endings.

Re:Method Comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32755464)

I don't think e.g. NinjaVideo had the videos either. They where just linking/embedding videos from e.g. megavideo.com (which is still online).

Re:Method Comparison (1)

jbonomi (1839286) | about 4 years ago | (#32755510)

Ninjavideo did seem to host the files somewhere. They even provided download links. They provided links to megavideo as well though, as a back up.

Re:Method Comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32755652)

The files, that you could download via their applet, was hosted on e.g. 2shared.com.

Re:Method Comparison (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 years ago | (#32755468)

It will be the link sites next, compile links to external files and expect a visit?

this/ FP foR GNAA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32755412)

need your help! in Jocks or chaps

Come again? (5, Insightful)

Meriahven (1154311) | about 4 years ago | (#32755414)

A venal government of a single country hijacked multiple domains with ease? Surely this should not be possible.

Re:Come again? (4, Informative)

Kylock (608369) | about 4 years ago | (#32755614)

It was unclear whether or not the federal agencies actually seized and confiscated the servers hosting and streaming the pirated content, although the ICE said that it had worked with officials in the Netherlands to execute search warrants for some of the domain names and content.

This article is completely silly. It sensationalism based upon speculation. Do real journalists exist anymore ?

Re:Come again? (2, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 years ago | (#32755640)

Re Do real journalists exist anymore ? Not if they want access to stories and the top officials it seems.

The US economy is saved! (5, Informative)

niftydude (1745144) | about 4 years ago | (#32755472)

The piracy "reportedly resulted in billions of dollars in losses to the U.S. economy," Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.

No. It didn't.

Re:The US economy is saved! (2, Insightful)

yamfry (1533879) | about 4 years ago | (#32755774)

It most certainly did. The key word is "reportedly". Incidentally, I reportedly have a massive sex organ and 2 Ferraris.

Re:The US economy is saved! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32755884)

no. you don't.

Re:The US economy is saved! (1)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | about 4 years ago | (#32756468)

And I am allegedly the greatest lover the world has ever seen.

Re:The US economy is saved! (4, Funny)

tomknight (190939) | about 4 years ago | (#32756564)

Whereas I reportedly have a massive Ferrari and two sex organs. I'm available for weddings, church fetes, funerals and bar mitzvahs.

Re:The US economy is saved! (1)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | about 4 years ago | (#32757086)

How about something actually insightful. I may agree, but the mods... oh wait. This is /.

Re:The US economy is saved! (1)

niftydude (1745144) | about 4 years ago | (#32757632)

Except I wasn't modded insightful, I was modded informative. TFA had misinformation in it which I corrected.
Whilst both you and I may think that it is common knowledge that 6 or 7 relatively unknown sites couldn't have caused billions of dollars worth of losses to the US economy, apparently that knowledge isn't common enough to reach the rarefied heights that the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York inhabits.

I considered it an important point to correct because I'm certain that these imaginary billions of dollars were used to justify what was a major operation involving no less than 13(!) government agencies:

The ICE did not work alone; it was joined by a number of U.S. law-enforcement and other agencies: U.S. Customs and Border Protection; the FBI; the Department of Commerce; the Food and Drug Administration; the Postal Inspection Service; the General Services Administration, Office of the Inspector General; the Naval Criminal Investigative Service; the Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the Army Criminal Investigative Division's Major Procurement Fraud Unit; and the Government of Mexico Tax Administrative Service.

Is crime really so low.. (1)

hilather (1079603) | about 4 years ago | (#32755508)

That the US can have the FBI spend so much time shutting down domains and movie sites.

Re:Is crime really so low.. (2, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 years ago | (#32755542)

Exactly and its the index sites, sites that create lists, not the hosts.
Using the 'internet' to link is now a crime, not hosting the file or selling physical media?

Overseas? (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | about 4 years ago | (#32755526)

From the article:

(..) the ICE said that it had worked with officials in the Netherlands to execute search warrants for some of the domain names and content. (..) Joe Biden, who said that the U.S. would crack down on piracy, even overseas.

(emphasis mine).
Hey, most of the 'pirates' here are below sea level, you insensitive clod!

And on a side note: we even had some real pirates recently (captured off the coast of Somalia)... Don't think they had any movies or 19" servers on them - good movie material, though.

Re:Overseas? (2, Insightful)

Krahar (1655029) | about 4 years ago | (#32755566)

Don't think they had any movies or 19" servers on them

You should have checked their pants.

Re:Overseas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32755996)

we even had some real pirates recently

Yes, they boarded the Ship To Gaza vessels on international water, guns in hand.

Strangely enough, those pirates are getting support from the US.

Where's the pirate bay? (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 4 years ago | (#32755550)

This particular site, while I'm glad it's not, is conspicuously missing from the list. Was it omitted for some reason? If so, what reason(s)? Could it be its high profile and popularity? Could it be the matter of international relations? It is not outside of the range of possibility for the U.S. to inflict its will on the .ORG tld.

Re:Where's the pirate bay? (1)

daid303 (843777) | about 4 years ago | (#32755632)

RTFS. Piratebay doesn't host movies, as these sites did.

Re:Where's the pirate bay? (1)

Archon-X (264195) | about 4 years ago | (#32755902)

Incorrect. These sites LINKED to sites that had episodes / movies on them.
Just like google links to youtube that has full TV episodes split up on it.

Re:Where's the pirate bay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32756274)

TPB isn't based in the U.S. so U.S. law enforcement, which did this operation, can't really do anything about TPB.

Re:Where's the pirate bay? (2, Informative)

Dashiva Dan (1786136) | about 4 years ago | (#32757532)

Don't you mean 'Where's megavideo?' it's the one hosting all the movies, right?

An interesting difference (3, Informative)

Tetrarchy (1651907) | about 4 years ago | (#32755596)

The thing about ninjavideo that I always found interesting (and what i had thought would keep them online), was that the site did not actually host the files it was streaming, but only provided links which used some sort of weird java popup that you had to keep running in the background which acted as some sort of intermediary to actually start the stream from files with obfuscated addresses hosted on 3rd party hosting sites (think megaupload).

I guess it all comes back to the question of if whether having a link to somewhere else that hosts copyrighted material is itself infringement, and unless the ninja admins manage to beat the MPAA lawyers, it would seem we have our answer to that.

The real shame is that the site was super useful for finding archived tv shows (especially documentaries from nat geo and the bbc and the like), but i suspect linking to the big name movies is what got them shut down. Such a waste - I don't even understand why people would want to watch the cams in the first place.

Re:An interesting difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32756148)

I agree. Ninja had been my one stop shop for TV shows, while I left the few movies alone. They were the best site I've seen for listing and getting up any shows that aired each night. They had even gone to HD recently, unlike a lot of the other sites which only offer real crappy quality. I can't think of a single other site that will let me know exactly what shows have aired in a day, ranging from broadcast to cable to British to even anime. Most of the shows will still be relatively easy to get ahold of, but just knowing they're out there to get will become a problem.

I also have a problem with just how many government organizations were involved here. Since when did streaming video become the greatest threat to our country's borders? I find the claims of "billions of dollars in losses" rather suspicious and inflated, and am curious in return how much taxpayer money went into this operation. According to the ICE report, most likely hundreds of employees from many organization working for months...that's going to be multi millions of dollars in cost. This is at the same time we're slashing budgets and cutting back the armed forces. I'm a bit disturbed how much hold Hollywood/companies seem to have according to this report. The government is supposed to work for the people, not just for a few companies. The term "tail wagging the dog" comes to mind.

Re:An interesting difference (1)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | about 4 years ago | (#32756556)

Actually, I don't think it really matters if the sites hosted files or linked to them. This is clear use of a combination of fear, battery and good old fashioned bullying. They don't even have to win the cases since they can take the sites down straight away, confiscate the equipment, reclaim the domain names, etc. They can then use their significant resources in a war of attrition on the pirates.

Sites that link to torrents are treading a very thin line, and it's only the fact that Google and every other search engine as well as many smaller players on the web require the use of links to potentially illegal sites that protects them. Certainly the government can simply ignore the act that a google search will happily return the same torrent files as the pirate sites but it will still seem duplicitous.

Huh? (4, Insightful)

X.25 (255792) | about 4 years ago | (#32755606)

So, it's easier to get US government to shut down some domains pirating movies, than to shutdown domains used by phishers, scammers and all the other types that are actually hurting 'ordinary' people (no matter how dumb those people are)?

I see.

Right, because no 'ordinary' people (0)

wiredog (43288) | about 4 years ago | (#32756086)

are in the industry. No one works in the cafeterias, cleans the offices, works on the sets, or does any other kind of ordinary labor.

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32756186)

Pirating directly hurts *publishers*. They are *specific* entities with financial interests so they go after *pirates*, *ninja's* etc. Phishers and scammers however, go after YOU. The large corporations are not affected by idiots that send their lifesavings to a clever fucker(s) in Nigeria—and neither is your government. Besides, the government doesn't work for you (contrary to what you may think).

Americans lost control of their government years ago. It's now operated by corporations that will always work against the wishes of the public. So if you're felling shafted it's because you are.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32756198)

There is no money in shutting down scammers, but plenty of lobby money for stopping movie downloads.

Re:Huh? (1)

MrNemesis (587188) | about 4 years ago | (#32756402)

Follow the money. It's amazing how fast you can get things done when your campaign contributions depend on it. Where's the money in shutting down fraud, spam and everything else?

Whoops. Forgot to take my anti-cynicism pills today. I'm sure our politicians and lawmakers are doing the very best they can, and after all piracy costs the economy eleventy trillion bajongas a year.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32757772)

eleventy trillion bajongas a year.

Co-workers around me are wondering why I burst into laughter! Nice

Re:Huh? (1)

rajafarian (49150) | about 4 years ago | (#32756668)

Yeah, X.25, we are talking about a government that would cheer on a corporation attempting to get $1,000,000,000.00 from a person making $17,000 a year.

Something is seriously F'ed up, man!

Wow, Feds loose (5, Interesting)

anupokritos (1766650) | about 4 years ago | (#32755682)

One, Movies-links.tv doesn't stream video, nor does it embed any movies in their site. What they do is provide links to where you can stream videos around the web and give the users the ability to report if the stream is working or not so that finding streaming video is easier. They confiscate the domain for that? That's like arresting me for telling you to go to the crack house down the street if you want to buy crack. Maybe it's not cool to give you that information but I don't think it's illegal. Really? It's illegal to let people know where they can find video streams? Anyhow immediately after the Feds seized the domain a replacement one was created: http://www.watch-movies-tv.info/ [watch-movies-tv.info] and you know how I know this? Because when I googled Movies-links.tv it was the second link that popped up. So wait a second? Why is it okay for google to tell me where I can find Movies-links.tv but not okay for Movies-links.tv to tell me where I can find video streams? Whatever. Who knows how long it took for this "operation" to get approval, pass the paperwork around, select a operational task force, come up with an action committee, decided on a communication strategy and plan the concerted effort.... I'm pretty sure it only took the people at Movies-links.tv about 5 minutes to register a new domain though. Nice work Fed's.

Re:Wow, Feds loose (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32756524)

What you are describing is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessory_(legal_term) [wikipedia.org]

And yes in many states it is illegal to do so. The reason being to go after mobster like tactics. Things like "I was not there when Benny committed the murder." Yet he instructed Benny to do so and not only to do so how to do so. And he could say it like "now Benny there is a box with a picture in it (I do not like this person) and there is some money in it and a gun, if the person pictured were to disappear I probably would not be too upset if this money was gone". While at bit of a extreme example and probably a bad comparison. It shows why accessory is usually considered part of the crime. You are knowingly helping to facilitate a crime.

In this case it is *UNDER LAW* a major felony to do copyright violation. So yes you could could be tied as an accessory to every single person that downloaded something running a site like that.

Now there is other law that comes into play here of safe harbor for ISPs. Google will take down the link *IF* asked to do so. Did the movie linking site have a take down system in place? In this case Google is not knowingly facilitating a crime they just index *EVERYTHING*. Everything includes things that are criminal and not. This would be like trying to prosecute the guy who makes phone books for providing the address where Benny went to because he also used a phone book. These sorts of sites are like 'nudge nudge wink wink we are like google we just index things'. No they are sites that facilitate in indexing pretty much exclusively copyright violations.

I am honest about it. If I go to these sites it is because they have free stuff. I do not try to rationalize it like you do.

Re:Wow, Feds loose (3, Informative)

anupokritos (1766650) | about 4 years ago | (#32757874)

Wow, and you think these foreign companies should care about what's legal in your state? Why should they? The internet isn't American. These companies have every right to operate legally based on the laws of the country they live in.

Why didn't they just confiscate the servers that have the data? Why didn't they arrest the people commiting these crimes? They had to have known how easy it is to put up another domain. They didn't because they can't. They know they don't have a legal basis to prosecute them based on the laws of the country they reside in. So they strongarm the Registrars who don't have the same protections under the law.

But it's pointless. It takes less time to get a new domain than it does to talk about how you cleverly confiscated the old on. But what really bothers me is that they waste tax payer's money on trying to prevent something that is entirely unpreventable.

If every video sharing site on the planet was shut down today, next week there would be ten more to replace them and the week after that a hundred more. And there is nothing anyone can do. It's a waste of money, and money that can be better spent helping people that really need it.

 

Re:Wow, Feds loose (2, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 4 years ago | (#32756686)

That's like arresting me for telling you to go to the crack house down the street if you want to buy crack. Maybe it's not cool to give you that information but I don't think it's illegal. Really? It's illegal to let people know where they can find video streams?

Which would be "Conspiracy to sell a controlled substance" & could end up giving you 5+ years in a state prison. Welcome to the police state, have a nice stay.

Re:Wow, Feds loose (1)

McDozer (1460341) | about 4 years ago | (#32757014)

Which is sad because here in Georgia in Dodge county a sheriff was prosecuted for buying votes with 'money, alcohol, and drugs' and only got 18 months but regular people can get 5+ years for 'Conspiracy to sell a controlled substance'. The sheriff would buy absentee ballots off people and fill them out himself and send them in.

Re:Wow, Feds loose (1)

anupokritos (1766650) | about 4 years ago | (#32757344)

I don't think so. Me telling someone where the crack house is isn't conspiracy to sell a controlled substance. Conspiracy means two or more people conspire/agree to commit a criminal act AND they take some kind of overt act in furtherance thereof. You might be able to charge a person for conspiracy because they said, "Crack house? You mean the one around the corner with the bathtub in the backyard?", but for them to be found guilty you have to show that the person that told where the crack house was had previously agreed with the crack dealer to help him/her sell crack.

Re:Wow, Feds loose (2, Interesting)

Snowtred (1334453) | about 4 years ago | (#32757040)

Wait, this is very confusing.

So is it illegal for you to tell me that Google tells me that Movie-links.tv tells me where the links to tv and movie streams are?

Prob should close this thread before the fed's charge in.

Re:Wow, Feds loose (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32757176)

And tvshack has setup shop at tvshack.cc already as well...

Feds and movie studios fail to comprehend the internet - again.

Warrants against domains ? (2, Insightful)

Kylock (608369) | about 4 years ago | (#32755704)

Quoted from http://www.ice.gov/pi/nr/1006/100630losangeles.htm [ice.gov]

In the first action carried out as part of the initiative, authorities executed seizure warrants against nine domain names of Web sites that were offering first-run movies

A seizure warrant against a domain includes what exactly ? The host, the registrar, the technical contact's residence ?

I understand warrants for physical locations, but this seems a bit wrong. Maybe its just a poor choice of wording by the original author....

Search and seizures? do process? (1)

xmorg (718633) | about 4 years ago | (#32755766)

Search and seizure? due process? The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and Warrants shall not be issued, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Robert byrd dies and all of a sudden everyone forgets there is a constitution!

Why ICE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32755768)

ICE is wasting our resources stopping streaming videos when their mission is to stop the gushing borders. Since when is it their duty to do the bidding of Hollywood? I smell payoff...

Re:Why ICE? (1)

delinear (991444) | about 4 years ago | (#32757308)

Maybe its quid-pro-quo payment for James Cameron consulting them on border control issues?

This must mean a few things... (2, Insightful)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | about 4 years ago | (#32755910)

If ICE, the FBI and a bunch of other alphabet soup agencies are doing this, whether it is within their jurisdiction OR NOT, it has to mean a few things in order to make sense:

  1. Nobody is killing anyone in the US. Murder is a thing of the past.
  2. Illegal immigration is a thing of the past.
  3. Pedophiles are all behind bars where they belong.
  4. Terrorists are all where they belong: the afterlife.
  5. What drugs on the streets?

Agree with it or not, the whole idea of a government takeover of a website at the flip of a switch just gives me the heebie jeebies.

Immigration needs to do round ups and not movies (0, Troll)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 4 years ago | (#32755988)

Immigration needs to do round ups and not movies. People from mexico are taking our jobs for under min wage. So us citizens don't have to money to buy / rent movies.

Re:Immigration needs to do round ups and not movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32756116)

Reason to be educated I guess

Re:Immigration needs to do round ups and not movie (4, Interesting)

hercubus (755805) | about 4 years ago | (#32756388)

The government, hence immigration, does what corporate interests want, which is not roundups.

If you're a Hollywood exec, illegals mow the lawn, clean the house, clean the pool, service the wife - all good things. Those illegals are not going home, brother, not going home.

Meat processing plants use immigration as part of the HR process. They feed names of activists, malcontents, injured workers to the immigration office and then the roundups begin. Immigration gets to pretend publicly that they're doing something and the meat plants maintain a well-behaved slave-labor force.

And because slave labor helps keep prices low, you can afford meat sometimes on your Wal-Mart salary.

Everybody wins!

Re:Immigration needs to do round ups and not movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32757078)

Yeah. I remember a part of the film Food Inc, apparently a sugar factory or something had hired illegal workers, and the INS wanted to deport them. I have no problem with that.

The problem was that the INS didn't deport all of the workers, they did them in small groups, which allowed the factory to train replacement workers without serious impact to the production.

THAT in particular pissed me off.

Sounds familiar... (2, Insightful)

GatorMan (70959) | about 4 years ago | (#32756506)

Similar to the War on Drugs, the small fish and the users get pinched while the root of the issue goes ignored.

Hmm... (3, Insightful)

mea37 (1201159) | about 4 years ago | (#32757224)

When I hear a subset of the /. crowd claim that individuals should be allowed to "share" music files for free without fear of copyright lawsuits, I respectfully disagree (in general), but at least I get where they're coming from.

But I see a lot of people here wanting to defend sites that provide a means for anyone to watch movies on demand, taking a profit and not passing any compensation on to the rights-holders... which I guess makes sense if you think there shouldn't be copyright at all, but in that case my disagreement with your position is perhaps a bit less respectful.

Particularly intersting since any site that isn't engaged in copyright infringement gets screamed at if they dare make you look at an ad.

Seems to me taking the position against the rights-holders has become a knee-jerk reaction.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Dashiva Dan (1786136) | about 4 years ago | (#32757696)

If only the movie studios would throw full support behind hulu or similar and provide us free streams of old TV shows and movies supported by ads (the new ones, sure, keep those back or add more advertising to them).
We have TV/basic cable with it's shows supported by ads. This includes on-demand, with a very small subset of only the very recent shows and movies that is ad-supported (and subscription channels that are not ad-supported).
If they could just get with the times, and take an approach similar to ninjavideo (Which had a ton of TV series, and the entire series, from years back) in an easily navigable format, supported by ads (not so much like ninjavideo here, adblock killed it's ads dead - something more like hulu) And i think they'd kill piracy dead, and still make their profits.
The problem is that they're too greedy. They want to make more money than the market supports, thus the piracy.
The thing is, if they did embrace ad-supported delivery of all the tv shows and movies like ninjavideo did, they would probably end up coming close to their same profits, if not beating them.
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