Domains Seized in Piracy Sweep Protest Government Actions

Lora Bentley

Remember last month when the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized control of dozens of Internet domains on suspicion of copyright infringement? At the time, the Electronic Frontier Foundation was concerned that the government seized the sites without first notifying the owners.


The site owners are concerned about that, too, but not just because they weren't notified. At least two of them are arguing they don't-and didn't-infringe anyone's copyrights and shouldn't have been included in the sweep.


According to The New York Times, after seeing the warrant under which their sites were seized, the operator of, known as Splash, said that the songs and videos he posts on the hip-hop blog are "leaked" by the record labels or the artists themselves in an effort to boost sales. He showed the NYT copies of e-mails from record label personnel and third-party marketers to prove it.


Similarly, the man who operated (which has relocated to said his site was simply a search engine for BitTorrent, so he should be permitted to link to BitTorrent just like Google and other search engines do.


Those who oppose the move see it as a precursor to what the federal government plans to do if Congress passes the Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act.

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