On Saturday US authorities began seizing more domain names allegedly associated with copyright infringement and counterfeiting.
TorrentFreak broke the story over the weekend. According to their report, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have resumed “Operation In Our Sites”, the domain name seizing initiative designed to crack down on copyright infringement.
TorrentFreak has compiled a list of the sites that were taken down on Saturday and Sunday. The following domain names were taken:
TorrentFreak was able to get an interview with PiraCee, an administrator at Re1ease.net, which is a portal that didn’t host any copyrighted material. They merely linked to movie and TV shows on sites like Megavideo.com.
“We were not informed [that the seizure was imminent] in any way,” he said. “I was just presented with the ICE image upon doing a page refresh.”
For those unfamiliar with the site, Re1ease.net was started following PiraCee’s split with Ninjavideo.net in late 2008. NinjaVideo was a victim of ICE raids in 2010 and never recovered.
With around 10,000 visitors a day, Re1ease.net is rather busy, but it was definitely not one the largest sites of its kind on the Internet. And the weird thing is that other sites with much higher levels of traffic remain online, untouched by ICE for some reason.
“I don’t believe we were doing anything wrong at all. Many higher profile sites remain unaffected,” PiraCee said.
The question observers are asking is this: why was Re1ease singled out? They operate outside of the United States so what’s the deal? Do they resist DMCA takedowns maybe?
We have only ever had two DMCA takedown requests – for Source Code and Hobo With a Shotgun,” PiraCee told them. “We removed both.”
Even though they lost their domain name, which is a huge bummer for any site, Re1ease.net isn’t about to give in.
“We will be back,” said PiraCee, as the site thought of a possible domain change Sunday morning. “Give us about a week.”
“Scrrls.net will be our new domain and will be up and running soon as we fix our backend,” PiraCee promised. And, the site is fully functioning now.
Keep in mind that none of the ICE domain seizures are Constitutional. There is no due process involved; the government is engaged in thug behavior because money talks. The RIAA and MPAA are partnered with the government and they are waging a war on people’s ability to share with each other digitally.
If you think this is small potatoes just wait until they start pulling political and alternative media sites down. You won’t be shrugging it off then.