Star Wars Links Cause Federal Agents To Close Down

Federal agents shut down a popular Web site Wednesday that had distributed copyrighted music and movies, including versions of the latest “Star Wars” movie. Homeland security agents from several divisions served search warrants on 10 people around the country suspected of being involved with the Elite Torrents site, and took over the group’s main server. The agency said it was the first criminal enforcement action aimed at copyright infringers who use the now-popular BitTorrent file-swapping technology. Visitors to the Elite Torrents Wednesday found a bright red screen displaying a message that operators were under investigation for criminal copyright infringement.

“Our goal is to shut down as much of this illegal operation as quickly as possible to stem the serious financial damage to the victims of this high-tech piracy–the people who labor to produce these copyrighted products,” Acting Assistant Attorney General John Richter said in a statement. “Today’s crackdown sends a clear and unmistakable message to anyone involved in the online theft of copyrighted works that they cannot hide behind new technology.
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