The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), with help from investigators from 10 other countries, has arrested four people and dismantled at least four Web sites used to illegally distribute movies, music and software, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Thursday. The crackdown on so-called warez distribution sites, with 70 searches conducted in the U.S. and another 20 searches in other countries on Wednesday, also resulted in law enforcement authorities identifying more than 120 members of what the DOJ called the “organized online piracy underground,” DOJ officials said during a press conference. In the warez community, highly organized groups work together to distribute copyrighted materials, often competing with each other to be the fastest to post a free version of a movie or video game. The DOJ didn’t have immediate information on the four people arrested. The DOJ could take action against other suspects, officials said.
Searches happened in 10 countries in addition to the U.S.: Canada, Israel, France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, U.K., Germany, Portugal and Australia.
The crackdown, called Operation Site Down, resulted in the confiscation of several computers and servers, causing at least eight warez sites to be shut down, said U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. During Wednesday’s action, more than $50 million worth of pirated works were seized by law enforcement, he said.
Computer World Singapore, http://computerworld.com.sg/ShowPage.aspx?pagetype=2&articleid=1752&pubid=3&issueid=54