By J. DeVoy
ICE appears to be targeting sites that help Internet users download copyrighted music, as well as sites that sell bootleg goods, such as fake designer handbags.
The sites are replaced with a note from the government: “This domain named has been seized by ICE, Homeland Security Investigations.” (source.)
Upon trying to access 51607.com, one of the affected domains, one is treated to this:
On one hand, this is good for antipiracy efforts, but where do the criminal penalties go? While content producers may be grateful for the seizure of a particularly egregious pirate, more will step forward to take its place, and shutting down one site doesn’t put money in the producers’ pocket for past infringement like a civil suit does. Furthermore, the government seizure of a site makes it difficult to see prior pages and build a case for copyright infringement. For smaller producers, it seems like this action is little more than the government taking money out of their pocket and using potential legal fees to line its own coffers. It’s not like the Federal government is solvent in any meaningful sense.