Sunday, July 31, 2005
DOJ reports in a press release here that the first indictments have been issued in "Operations FastLink and Site Down - the two largest and most aggressive international enforcement actions against criminal organizations involved in the illegal online distribution of copyrighted material."
The press release, in part, states:
"Operations FastLink and Site Down resulted in a total of more than 200 search warrants executed in 15 countries; the confiscation of hundreds of computers and illegal online distribution hubs; and the removal of more than 100 million dollars worth of illegally-copied copyrighted software, games, movies, and music from illicit distribution channels. Countries participating in these U.S.-led operations included: France, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Hungary, Israel, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Belgium, and Germany. . . .
"The defendants charged today were leading members in the illegal software, game, movie, and music trade online, commonly referred to as the 'warez scene.' They acted as leaders, crackers, suppliers, distribution site hosts or site administrators. All were affiliated with organized warez groups that acted as 'first-providers' of copyrighted works to the Internet - the so-called “release” groups that are the original sources for a majority of the pirated works distributed and downloaded via the Internet. Once a warez release group prepares a stolen work for distribution, the material is distributed in minutes to secure, top-level warez servers throughout the world. From there, within a matter of hours, the pirated works are distributed globally, filtering down to peer-to-peer and other public file sharing networks accessible to anyone with Internet access."
The cases that come from this investigation are important to follow as they may assist in interpreting statutes in this new techno world.