The domains of six websites that streamed and provided illegal downloads of copyrighted music were seized by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Department of Justice.
266 other websites part of the same network were also taken down in Brazil, with six individuals arrested in 30 search and seizure raids across the country.
“According to court documents, law enforcement identified these six domains as being used to distribute copyrighted material without the authorization of the copyright holders,” the Justice Department said today in a press release.
“A law enforcement investigation confirmed that copyright-protected music content was present and available for streaming or downloading on each of these six websites from the Eastern District of Virginia.”
The six domains seized in the US (Corourbanos.com, Corourbano.com, Pautamp3.com, SIMP3.com, flowactivo.co, and Mp3Teca.ws) were registered with US-based registrars and were taken down following a joint investigation with Brazilian authorities dubbed Operation 404.4.
The websites were advertised on social media to attract users willing to download and stream the illegal music content they provided. Brazilian authorities also requested and took down 15 social network profiles used for promotion purposes.
Fourth edition of Operation 404
Copyright infringement is behind annual losses of R$15 billion in Brazil (roughly $2.8 billion), according to Bráulio de Melo, the Deputy Secretary of Operations of the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Public Security (Seopi/MJSP).
This is the fourth edition of an operation that started in 2019 and focuses on dismantling cybercrime organizations and the infrastructure they use for digital piracy and breaking international copyright laws.
“The seizure of these six domains by the government will prevent third parties from streaming and downloading copyright-protected content from these sites,” the Justice Department added.
“Individuals visiting those sites now will see a message indicating that the site has been seized by the federal government, and visitors will be redirected to another site for additional information.”