Lately the Government and the FCC have been making some big talk about cracking down on film piracy (and protecting intellectual property in general). This isn’t the first time the Federal Government has talked big about it though and done nothing about it. So it’s was incredibly shocking yesterday (Wednesday) when they backed up their words by shutting down these websites.
Among the sites shut down were: TVshack.net, Movies-Links.tv, FilesPump.com, Now-Movies.com, PlanetMoviez.com, ThePirateCity.org (who would have thought with a name like that?) and ZML.com. Of note here is Movies-Links.tv which pulls in 3.3 million visitors a month, making it one of the largest websites in the world. So the Feds are definitely going after the big guys and making a bold statement in doing so.
US attorney Preet Bharara put it best by saying:
“Criminal copyright infringement occurs on a massive scale over the internet, and reportedly results in billions of dollars in losses to the US economy. That translates into lost jobs and real hardships for ordinary working people…If your business model is movie piracy, your story will not have a happy ending.”
A Manhattan Federal court was the one who actually issued the warrants demanding the closure of the websites, as well as the forfeiture of the domain names. The Federal Government has accused the websites of offering movies like Toy Story 3, Iron Man 2, and The Karate Kid mere hours after their theatrical releases.
For your reading pleasure I’ll let you read the full Governement issued press release, which details the full charges against the websites and gives information on the sites themselves. I for one and glad to hear that something is finally being done.
Sure, for the big companies that make millions of dollars, it’s easy for people to think it’s not hurting them that much. The truth is, piracy is nearly bankrupty the industry and it’s absolutely destroying the indie filmmakers.