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Super Bowl Bust: Feds Grab 307 NFL Websites; $4.8M

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the first-they-came-for-the-pirated-sports-gewgaws dept.

Security 198

coondoggie writes "Speaking at a National Football League press conference ahead of this weekend's Super Bowl, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said special agents this week seized a total of 307 websites and snatched up 42,692 items of phony Super Bowl-related memorabilia along with other counterfeit items for a total take of more than $4.8 million – up from $3.72 million last year."

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China (4, Insightful)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909323)

Because we can only transfer money through "legitimate" channels to China. Waste of my tax dollars if ever there was one...

Re:China (4, Interesting)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909739)

I'm more interested in how much money was spend doing the seize. I could imagine that tax bill may exceed the ~$5 million depending on what equipment they bought and how many people they paid to track down/seize/value all the stuff.

Re:China (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910671)

and I'd like to know when the copyright, trademark holders will be getting a bill for the government's services.

Re:China (3, Insightful)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909851)

I'd almost bet a testicle that the resources used to acquire these goods was far more than $4.8M.

Our taxes bought this trash on behalf of private industry---- why?

Re:China (4, Funny)

Soporific (595477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909999)

What would you do with three testicles? Or did you lose a bet before? :)

~S

Re:China (5, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910277)

Not that I support this kind of action, but it at least proves that bills like SOPA are unnecessary. Rights-holders already have a legal means to deal with infringers. It may be inefficient, but I think most slashdotters would agree that's preferable to the alternative.

Welfare (4, Funny)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910653)

Waste of my tax dollars if ever there was one...

My imaginary conservative friend, who always displays perfect consistency in all of his opinions, is outraged that his tax dollars are being spent to defend private trademarks and IP. Trademarks belonging, moreover, to corporations that pay very little in taxes themselves. "What has happened to individual responsibility in this country?" he might be heard to exclaim. "Surely these firms could defend their IP monopolies themselves, without public assistance. I mean, this is the NFL! You mean to tell me they can't find a few hired thugs to show these pirates how not to do business?"

And nobody made any more money... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38909331)

It's unclear what, if any, effect these seizures have on the economy.

Re:And nobody made any more money... (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909479)

It's unclear what, if any, effect these seizures have on the economy.

Well I can tell you, there's a few ware houses and container ships which are probably going to have a little problem disposing of inventory which is still in the pipe.

Not to mention an end to my pursuit of an Official Super Bowl Batmobile Car Kit.

Mathematics (5, Interesting)

don depresor (1152631) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909343)

If they seize 43k items of merchandise, that means the average value for the caps, shirts and stuff on the photo is more than 100$ each... WTF???

Re:Mathematics (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909381)

It would depend on what valuation they're using... fake tickets could easily be "worth" that (while in truth benig less valuable than the paper and ink seperately)

But yeah, something about that valuation is very fishy...

Re:Mathematics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910089)

I'd be surprised about tickets.

What I'd expect to see a lot of are jerseys. Last I looked an official (in my case, hockey) jersey was something like $350... absurd as that is. Getting one from the factory in China that makes them legit during the day? Like $30.

Re:Mathematics (-1, Flamebait)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909517)

... 42,692 items of phony Super Bowl-related memorabilia along with other counterfeit items..."

It's hard to calculate an average value when you don't have the denominator. But yes, $100 on average sounds reasonable. You don't realize how much money sports nuts will drop on stuff, especially the Stupor Bowel.

Re:Mathematics (3, Interesting)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909525)

When the DEA busts a grow house each plant is said to produce 1lb. So why would they not want to inflate prices to make it look good.

Re:Mathematics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910529)

and each of these lbs is said to sells at least 4540$, when in reality, if you paid more than 1500$ for it you got screwed....

Re:Mathematics (4, Informative)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909581)

I'm 120 miles north of the Superbowl, and the FBI paid a visit to our mall [msn.com] and cleaned out one store of their NFL merchandise as being counterfeit. A lot of what they took was jerseys. Authentic game jerseys MSRP for around $200 so I could see an average being around $100.

Re:Mathematics (4, Informative)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910091)

I looked quickly at the nfl.com shop, and their jerseys are $89-$99, but they had jackets and coats that range from $100 to $200, and framed lithographs for $150.

I imagine that a counterfeiting organization might not just counterfeit logos, but possibly also signatures. Maybe there's a bunch of signed footballs in the group also.

Re:Mathematics (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910791)

No, it's 43K inventoried plus a bunch of cool extras distributed to friends and family.

Re:Mathematics (1)

Imrik (148191) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910805)

The 43k is only the items that were Super Bowl related, which may have been only a small portion of the total goods.

Re:Mathematics (2)

Glarimore (1795666) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910859)

The feds always do this.

I remember a news story not long ago where the DEA had seized 50 pounds of marijuana -- a street value of "about a million dollars". If you do the math, that means someone is selling grams of marijuana for forty five dollars. That's absurd -- that would mean that by weight, marijuana is worth about half as much as gold.

But, hey hey! You need to let the populace know that their tax dollars are being well spent!

Doesn't this prove... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38909345)

...that the curren laws are enough to fight counterfeits?

Re:Doesn't this prove... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909445)

...that the curren laws are enough to fight counterfeits?

Yes. Yes they are. But why not pass a whole boat-load more, just so the official outlets and suppliers are kept safe.

Re:Doesn't this prove... (2)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909817)

The official outlets and suppliers are kept safe not just by the current laws, but by preferential treatment by the FBI as another posted noted [msn.com] .

When you have the influence in government apparently you can get jackbooted thugs to come in and raid businesses for you.

Copyright law is not just unjust towards society and the consumer, it is not even enforced equally.

Re:Doesn't this prove... (1)

w.hamra1987 (1193987) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909475)

NO

these websites shouldn't have even existed in the first place. we were supposed to have known they will be created, and arrested their owners before they can even register the domain

yes, "minority report" all the way!

great use of our tax money (5, Insightful)

peas_n_carrots (1025360) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909351)

I mean, because counterfeit NFL gear is incredibly detrimental to society. Unlike drugs, murder, and other violence. And why spend money on education when money can be thrown towards law enforcement to satisfy the corporate overlords. Another way of looking at it... thousands of jobs have been destroyed so that the uber-rich NFL owners can snatch even more money from the commoners.

Re:great use of our tax money (4, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909473)

To the Feds, it's not about priorities. It's about taking action to justify their department and funding necessary to maintain the status quo (and then some). It's precisely why the go after the low hanging fruit first and foremost.

I suppose you could say their priorities are self-serving. Screw dealing with violent offenders and crime. That just too dangerous and politically incorrect.

Re:great use of our tax money (5, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909905)

No, it's probably more about low-hanging fruit.

Remember, when someone buys drugs they're buying something they generally know is illegal, same with the seller. Both have a personal interest in keeping the transaction as low-key as possible.

A purchaser of sports memorabilia is not looking to buy anything illegal. That means that the sellers of sports memorabilia in general are not low-key, and have to seem legitimate, which could open them up to investigation if the copyright and trademark holders do a good job of documenting the supply chain. Remember, many products have minimum costs per the resale agreement, and any price coming in under that price could automatically trigger a more thorough look. If one is counterfeiting memorabilia and is not aware of the minimum price, attempting to undercut legitimate resellers to drive sales could attract attention.

I know this because years ago I worked for a small business that did all manner of technology and equipment work. Among the company's offerings were OEM software products, and remember, the definition of OEM back then was loose enough that one could buy a copy of Office or Windows as an OEM product if buying a qualifying hardware product, which could mean something as cheap as a Microsoft mouse. Well, the owner of the small business found a supplier of Windows and Office that let him sell for really, really cheap, and he advertised. A few days later, an investigator on behalf of Microsoft stopped by. He and the owner talked, and basically the rep was willing to exchange all of our copies of everything we had bought for resale in exchange for being given the information on the party that sold us the software. It probably worked that way because we had about fifteen products, not exactly a mecca of commercial piracy. He collected the counterfeits, gave us real ones, and left with contact information. Before he left he explained the supply chain that Microsoft used to distribute, and how prices really never fell below a certain threshold for current products.

Back to this situation, if the real owners and producers of the licensed memorabilia have a supply chain with defined prices, it's easy to catch sellers who have unlicensed product if you just watch for their ads.

Next time you get burgalized... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38909509)

Remember.. it is just your property that has been taken. It wasnt murder, drugs or anything violent.

Re:Next time you get burgalized... (2)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909721)

You mean... The next time someone sees pictures of my awesome couch and builds one similar to it claiming that that it has all the awesomeness of my original couch.

Sorry, but lost sales != theft.

Re:Next time you get burgalized... (2)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909849)

it has all the awesomeness of my original couch

That's not possible. What about the hidden Cheetos and that expensive remote under the cushions?

Re:Next time you get burgalized... (2)

Firehed (942385) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910491)

This kind of counterfeiting is a lot closer to theft than piracy. I know the guy selling $5 Oakley's out of a shoebox on the street corner isn't selling authentic goods (although I have no doubt that some people really are that ignorant), but I may have no idea that my money isn't making it back to the claimed manufacturer in the case of somewhat cheaper-than-usual NFL jerseys. Chances are I was just trying to get the best deal but engage in a legitimate transaction. Counterfeiting isn't a lost sale so much as a hijacked one. Contrast that to pirating digital goods, where no money is changing hands.

As noted in an earlier comment, I don't think this is a good of efficient use of my taxes. But if the money is going to be spent somewhere, I'd rather it go after counterfeiters (money going to the wrong party) than pirates (no transaction; could lead to one in the future). Given my choice, it would go after dangerous crime, or nowhere at all in the form of a lower tax rate.

Re:Next time you get burgalized... (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910829)

It's CLOSER to actual theft, but I imagine it still lacks the sting of coming home to an emptied out house.

Re:great use of our tax money (4, Insightful)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909583)

Another way of looking at it... thousands of jobs have been destroyed

Thousands of criminal jobs...

so that the uber-rich NFL owners can snatch even more money from the commoners.

Those commoners are going to spend the money. Getting rid of the fake websites doesn't mean more people will spend more money, it only changes who they spend it with. Do you think it is better that they wind up with something that has no value should they ever try to resell it? You hate the rich so much that you'll throw your fellow citizen to the wolves who are making fake goods and selling them at real prices?

Re:great use of our tax money (1)

chrismcb (983081) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909685)

It isn't just the uber rich NFL owners benefiting, but all of the small companies that make officially endorsed NFL products, as well as the people who work for them. In addition the common consumer knows that their $50 tshirt is a quality product and not some cheap knockoff. Not everything the government does is to support the 1%

Re:great use of our tax money (2)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909897)

the common consumer knows that their $50 tshirt is a quality product and not some cheap knockoff

That's a weak argument. Quality can be the same. I think you would have made your point better with authenticity instead.

Not everything the government does is to support the 1%

Just 99% of what they do. While I can understand your point, are these actions being enforced equally for all intellectual property holders or just the ones who can afford to donate to campaigns?.

DigiShaman said it pretty well:

To the Feds, it's not about priorities. It's about taking action to justify their department and funding necessary to maintain the status quo (and then some). It's precisely why the go after the low hanging fruit first and foremost.

That's my biggest issue. The 1% is getting preferential treatment because they generate headlines in newspapers, magazine, and online news sources. The small business man with a branded product is not going to get an FBI task force running through the local malls taking down knockoff products.

Re:great use of our tax money (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910839)

There's a fair chance of it being the very same items made in the very same factories, just after hours and off the books.

Re:great use of our tax money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38909691)

I'd rather see the FEDS bust some pro ball players & the schools that gave them phoney diplomas
  I'll bet many have both High school & college diplomas & cant even write a complete sentence or score 30 % on a grade 5 reading comprehension test

Re:great use of our tax money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38909899)

I don't know about your alma mater, but at mine you didn't need to be a ball player to get their phoney diploma. You just needed a 0 or positive balance at the registrars office.

Re:great use of our tax money (-1)

Tuan121 (1715852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909783)

Another way of looking at it... thousands of jobs have been destroyed so that the uber-rich NFL owners can snatch even more money from the commoners.

Oh piss the fuck off, that is all.

Re:great use of our tax money (4, Insightful)

BoberFett (127537) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910153)

Not to mention that apparently the Super Bowl is enough of a national treasure to spend tens of millions of dollars in law enforcement, but not enough of a national treasure that it belongs to the citizens of the USA.

So we all get to pay for protecting it but only a select few are allowed to profit off of it. More privatizing of profits while socializing the costs.

More bad news? (5, Insightful)

Artea (2527062) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909383)

Reading Slashdot every day is starting to make me wonder if I'm allowed to do anything besides spend all my money and work (for less) without getting sued or arrested for copyright, patent, counterfeiting, or violating some all encompassing do-what-I-say law.

Re:More bad news? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909451)

so true, so true...

so, can we have your liver, then?

Re:More bad news? (3, Interesting)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909499)

Sorry, doing nothing but spending all your money and working is not enough to stop you getting sued or arrested for violating some random-ass law.

Re:More bad news? (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909661)

Nope.

You are breathing (1)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910353)

Disney has the rights to breathing which it earned with the movie Warhorse, stop breathing right now or pay through the nose!

Re:More bad news? (2)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910385)

Slashdot = nerd drama
Don't take it too seriously.

Gone are the dreams... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909423)

Dreams of anyone who wanted a souvenir on the cheap, that is. Official stuff is $$$.

Re:Gone are the dreams... (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909679)

In modern Rome, you hand over all your bread for the circus, or ware the centurion...

ACTA? (5, Insightful)

t4ng* (1092951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909449)

While everyone was fretting over SOPA/PIPA, Obama secretly signed the ACTA treaty back in October, 2011. Both Obama And Bush declared during their respective presidencies that the text of ACTA was classified due to national security. Both denied FOI petitions. So how does a citizen have any hope of not breaking the law when the laws themselves are kept secret from citizens?

Re:ACTA? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38909571)

Put the tinfoil hat down and slowly step away.

Friends don't let Moron's post without facts.

First "offical" text posted April 2010

First "leaked copy posted May 2008 (Sorry can't find the post now>

Final copy, the one quoted as being signed posted April 2011, a whole six months before the public signing ceremony. >

I could keep doing this all day but why? I think that if your going to spout rhetoric you should be required to post links backing you BS up.

Re:ACTA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910263)

Speaking of links, where's yours Junior?

Re:ACTA? (2)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910233)

"Excessive law is no law" - Cicero [wikipedia.org]

There's more to the quote, generally talking about the criminalizing of all behaviors and making law useless. But the answer in itself is in the full quote. Funny how this was already discussed 2000 years ago.

Re:ACTA? (2)

aztec rain god (827341) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910777)

I would add to dear Cicero that a secret law is no law. The whole idea behind laws, if we're going back to Babylonian times, was that human beings were savages, and needed a code that the authorities could point to. "See, here's the list of shit you can't do." If a law is secret, how the hell are you supposed to comply?

Re:ACTA? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910397)

So how does a citizen have any hope of not breaking the law when the laws themselves are kept secret from citizens?

I dunno, but it looks like there is another secret trade agreement called Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Ars Technica has the story [arstechnica.com]

Beyond ACTA: next secret copyright agreement negotiated this week—in Hollywood
By Nate Anderson | Published February 1, 2012 6:30 PM ..
But negotiators still insist of shielding their work from the public, even on matters of increasing public concern, such as digital copyrights. And each agreement they negotiate mysteriously ends up just a bit tougher than the one before it. The time for "trust us" is over, and unlike ACTA, people want meaningful access to TPP documents before the draft text has been so worked over that no substantive change is possible. But without significant public pressure, that's not going to happen. Again. ..

Suggest calling your Congressional representatives and them you don't another trade agreement negotiated in secret and to put pressure on the administration to keep its promise of keeping government transparent.

If... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38909491)

If we took all the money, time, energy, and resources wasted on football in the usa... We could solve our debt crisis in 5 years.

TRILLIONS wasted on men playing 'ball'. that's just funny right there.

Of course that would never happen. And i expect to be modded down to oblivion. Because there's nothing more rabid than sports fans.

Re:If... (3, Insightful)

jdastrup (1075795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909641)

Are you assuming that if we didn't spend money on a ballgame that we would instead take that money and send it to the IRS? Really?

I think throwing money at a sports game and the genetic (or chemically enhanced) freak of natures (players) is a complete waste of money, but it's entertainment dollars, and I'm sure I spend that on other stuff that sports fans probably think is a waste of time in their opinion. Either way, it doesn't reduce the debt, doesn't feed the hungry, doesn't clothe the poor.

Re:If... (1)

cc_pirate (82470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910339)

You misunderstand. In Rome they had Bread and Circuses.

In America we have McDonalds and the NFL.

The ruling class messes with the circuses at their peril. They know the plebes need entertainment so that they remain docile and unwilling to rebel.

Oh, hey (0)

willaien (2494962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909497)

ICE doing things that aren't in their job description. Again.

Shouldn't they be, I dunno, doing Immigration and Customs Enforcement?

Re:Oh, hey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38909599)

Much counterfeit merchandise actually passes THROUGH Customs, believe it or not

Re:Oh, hey (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909659)

Shouldn't they be, I dunno, doing Immigration and Customs Enforcement?

Well, if this merchandise was manufactured overseas (which of course even means Mexico), then seizing it is part of their job. I doubt they would have paid any customs tax. Even if this didn't fall under the scope of "customs", ICE does quite a number of things that you wouldn't think of just by looking at their name. They seize and return stolen artwork to Europe all the time.

Re:Oh, hey (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909863)

Shouldn't they be, I dunno, doing Immigration and Customs Enforcement?

What do you think "Customs" is? The "customs" part of their name comes from their job of regulating the import of goods into the country; the term comes from import taxes being part of the "customary revenue" of the English King, and thus not subject to Parliamentary approval.

Re:Oh, hey (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909939)

So much of what the government does is not tied to the name of the agency.

In Texas the Rail Road commission oversees Oil & Gas.

Introducing the new War on .... (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909501)

The new war on drugs. Wait till they take you down to see if that label on the back of your clothing is legit.

Re:Introducing the new War on .... (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909751)

You didn't rip off that tag on your mattress did you? Big brother has interests in your bedroom.

Re:Introducing the new War on .... (1)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910161)

You didn't rip off that tag on your mattress did you? Big brother has interests in your bedroom.

Just so you know, it is perfectly legal for the end-user to rip the tag off the mattress. The tag is only there for the middle handlers (e.g. wholesaler, retailer, etc). It cannot be legally removed until the customer receives the product. In this case, it is actually to protect the consumer by disclosing the materials used in the mattress, primarily "all new" versus "recycled".
The sad truth is that Big Brother is much more covert in its interests in your bedroom.

Re:Introducing the new War on .... (1)

NIN1385 (760712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909795)

Just quit buying the sporting goods clothing, if they are spending tax dollars on this kind of shit just quit buying NFL apparel etc. I am a HUGE sports fan but I have decided I am done buying team clothing, for every sport. I don't need it to prove I like the team to anyone especially my friends and family, maybe I'll just start painting "Go Cubs" on hanes t-shirts myself and see if they can get me for counterfeiting their products. Insert cubs joke here... I've heard them all BTW.

If we suck the money out of these industries maybe they will beg for a bunch of repeals that make the industry more fair and opened to even small businesses that cannot bid on the high volume orders but could still cater to their local markets... perhaps? This bullshit is killing one thing and one thing alone, SMALL BUSINESSES! This country is always talking about how bad we need small businesses, well I have just given you one way to attempt to help small businesses. Stop buying their high volume mass produced product that is made in china and make your own t-shirts, hats, or just wear clothing with other shit on it.

Counterfeit costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38909503)

4.8 million in goods. I'm sure they will find the other billion they say counterfeit goods cost companies very soon.

in other news (5, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909513)

nagios detected the 'seized' logo on 307 of my sites, and kicked off the rsync job for 307 new sites. lets hope this doesnt happen again, i only have 14,205 registered domains left from which to sell my yet-to-be-created JIT manufactured merchandise from china.

Also, does anyone know if they still put the holographic sticker on the "authentic" merchandise? Ive got a trading partner from alibaba.com that can crank them out in rolls of 5000, but he needs some notice.

heres hoping the superbowl is a huge success this year! I know the money really helped me last year when i had to pay off my foreclosure. this year my daughter needs braces, and my wifes blood pressure medication isnt covered by costco insurance.

this reminds me of (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909521)

the olympics committee that go postal over anyone trying to edge in on their merchandising turf. But I suppose these are two of the biggest commercial events in the world. What are a few of the other lesser knowns that go to these lengths to protect their merchandising of the event? (I can kinda understand with the NFL, it's not about football as much is is about making money over football, but the olympics I feel should have a bit less greed in their heads)

One thing I always wondered ... (3, Interesting)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909543)

What counts as counterfeit goods? They always offer up fairly big numbers to justify these raids, but they rarely offer up enough details for the public to judge the real value of what they're doing.

I'm bringing this up because I saw a news story that showed some counterfeit goods a few years ago. While some of them were pretty convincing, a lot of the stuff involved questionable cases of trademark infringement. One such example were batteries that used the colour scheme from a popular brand of batteries, yet everything else was distinguishable from the "genuine" goods (e.g. it went under a completely different product name). Claiming that they were counterfeit would be like claiming that Monopoly money was counterfeit.

Re:One thing I always wondered ... (1)

Adam Appel (1991764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910585)

I worked for a retail manufacture that lost a trademark infringemt suite. Their product had some of the same letters of the better known product but in no other way did it seem to me there was any "consumer confusion". The product was called Tempinol it was a temporary tooth filling and Tylanol was the brand that filed the TM infringement.

Since When (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38909553)

Since when did Federal law enforcement begin enforcing tort laws, and more importantly, how do I get the Feds to raid the guy down the street who's using my GPL code in violation of the license?

Re:Since When (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910141)

Since when did Federal law enforcement begin enforcing tort laws, and more importantly, how do I get the Feds to raid the guy down the street who's using my GPL code in violation of the license?

Well.. as much as I disapprove of the amount of money spent for such questionable gains, this does not fall under civil courts to my knowledge. It falls under the criminal infringement section of IP laws because of the scale of operation and the profit that was made. These were also physical items, not just 1's and 0's floating around in cyberspace.

IP laws do make a distinction for criminal levels, but it is quite rare to see them enforced since 99.9999% of all infringement should be remanded to the civil courts as you suggest. In fact, most of the time it has been. For all the incorrect assertions that copyright infringement is stealing, those cases are tried in civil courts.

Which is why we should all be fighting SOPA/PIPA/ACTA so damn hard. It will take simple copyright infringement and remove due process from the remediation provided to the copyright holder and go straight past the criminal trial to the sentencing and punishment phase.

Warrents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38909589)

Didn't read the article but out of curiosity, did they need warrants/due process/proof or did they just seize a 307 websites because they could?

At what cost? (3, Insightful)

kwiqsilver (585008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909633)

Did they bother to calculate how much it cost the federal government to do all of this?
The feds spent $X to seize $Y of counterfeit goods that, if they entered the market, might have reduced NFL revenues by $Z.
Y >> Z is definitely true (the guy willing to pay $10 for the counterfeit, might not pay $50 for the authentic).
I seriously doubt X < Z.

The Obama Administration's Priorities (5, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909637)

Taking down domains without a trial, secretly negotiating international IP treaties (ACTA), threatening American ISPs into adopting a "six strikes" policy...

Judging by its actions, IP enforcement is clearly the Obama Administration's top priority. Is it corruption, or is it just plain disregard for justice and the due process of law?

Re:The Obama Administration's Priorities (0)

NIN1385 (760712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909837)

I for one apologize for voting for him, I was blinded by the possibility of real change.

I intend to make up for that bad mistake by voting for Ron Paul this year.

Again, I am sorry.

Re:The Obama Administration's Priorities (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910039)

You don't call this real change?

He only promised Change. Oh, and Hope.

He Changed all the laws to suit him and now we Hope he isn't re-elected.

Both promises kept.

Good guy Mr. President.

Re:The Obama Administration's Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910337)

Racist!!!11one

Re:The Obama Administration's Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910521)

I voted for obama so that another nigger would never be president again. Prechter's theory of socionomics pretty much guaranteed that the people would hate obama -- regardless of what he did.

Re:The Obama Administration's Priorities (1)

kirkb (158552) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910283)

Terrible. Bush would never have done anything like this. ;)

Priorities (2)

omems (1869410) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909669)

I recommend going to the ICE Facebook page [facebook.com] (WTF?) and let them know how much we appreciate their hard work protecting us from fake jerseys and other insidious chotchkies.

You know, add yourself to the list of people to monitor. Fuckfaces all around.
Too bad we have to use our real names...

Whacking Moles (1)

Froggels (1724218) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909677)

Why won't the government realize that it is wasting its time and our money? Many of the sites are probably not even located in the US and will continue to operate even after their domains are seized. (You gotta the word "seized") And tools like Mafiaafire http://mafiaafire.com/ [mafiaafire.com] render their efforts increasingly pointless. The whole ordeal reminds of the Princess Leia quote from Star Wars "The tighter you clinch your fist, the more systems will slip through your fingers." When will they ever learn?

Re:Whacking Moles (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910079)

At least quote it correctly.

"The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

2 more strikes and you lose your geek card.

Thank god. (1)

mtm_king (99722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909683)

I feel so much safer now.

Not real stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38909709)

I already watched the Supery Bowls! Now I'm thinking... maybe that was fake too. Well, they were using a football and they were playing with it and I think they were real people. Wait, is "football" trademarked? Maybe it wasn't even a real football.

Anyway, thank god I didn't purchase any of the fake merch! I'd hate to get home and find the stuff disappear in my hands for lack of having the properties of real items.

Or worse... if the NFL people didn't get a cut of the money I spent.

ICE Correction (5, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909713)

From TFA, ICE stated:

"Visitors to these websites will then find a seizure banner that notifies them that the domain name has been seized by federal authorities and educates them that willful copyright infringement is a federal crime."

Correction: Willful copyright infringement in the form of selling counterfeit merchandise is a Federal crime. If you are infringing copyright solely for personal use, the vast majority of the time there is no "crime" at all. It is a civil infraction.

Re:ICE Correction (2)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910159)

If you are infringing copyright solely for personal use, the vast majority of the time there is no "crime" at all. It is a civil infraction.

You must be new here.

0.1% (4, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909727)

NFL revenue is about 4 billion. Clearly this is not a threat to their business.

The FBI needs to have it's budget cut if this is the best thing they can do. I mean 4 million is one SUV full of cocaine.

SOPA/PIPA (2)

ALeavitt (636946) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909765)

It's a good thing SOPA and PIPA passed, or else the government would be powerless to stop this kind of criminal activity.

Yeah yea, the feds being bullies (4, Insightful)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 2 years ago | (#38909811)

But what's more shocking is that this is done in the name of football.
It's just a game. No more dignified then tiddlywinks, starcraft, or mumbley-peg. The NFL got the FEDS to bust up counterfeiters? For $4.8 million in loot? Really?

Come on guys, get a grip. I'd like to say that nobody cares how "your team" did, but sadly I can't. All I can say is nobody should really care. It's an activity that does not warrant caring.

Re:Yeah yea, the feds being bullies (2)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910137)

But what's more shocking is that this is done in the name of football

No, it's being done in the names of everyone in the country who actually run legitimate manufacturing and importing operations, and who don't rip other people off. This particular annual event stimulates a predictable wave of scams, thefts, counterfeit goods ... and the people who are involved plan for it. The rest of the year, they're doing other crap along the same lines. Busting them is a good thing.

Re:Yeah yea, the feds being bullies (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910183)

Ask the Romans what they thought of violent games in huge arena's.

Re:Yeah yea, the feds being bullies (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910587)

Ask the Romans what they thought of violent games in huge arena's.

When they start releasing lions and rhinos on the pitch during NFL games, I might actually start watching them.

WTF does ICE have to do with NFL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38909859)

WTF does INS or ICE have to do with NFL.

And this is why (2)

sdguero (1112795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910069)

I will never buy NFL licensed anything.

Well, since all other crimes were eliminated. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910493)

Well, they have to have something to keep them busy... seeing as they have worked diligently and put a stop to murder, illegal drugs, counterfeit money, break ins, robberies and all that stuff.

But ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910607)

The next question to ask is how much of that seized merchandise is going to turn out to be real and how are the rightful owner going to retrieve it from the FBI agents' basements and such.

Good work, BTW, Where were the feds when (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38910645)

They didn't bust the fat cats at AIG, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and so on... After all it is not like they scammed their own clients and stole hundreds of millions and colapsed the economy.

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