Posted 2/3/11 : 10 websites – some of them offshore – seized by federal authorities under copyright laws
The war against online sportsbetting in the United States continued this week with the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York apparently seizing 10 websites it claims were conspiring to promote the illegal live internet streaming of the NFL Super Bowl.
In a seizure affidavit unsealed Wednesday, the US Attorney’s Department revealed that it had collaborated with US Customs and Immigration Enforcement in a successful action to halt the plan.
The documentation indicates that not all of the sites were on US soil – one in Spain is identified as Rojadirecta.org, whilst another is named as ATDHE.net. The former site carried a notification that it had been seized by "Homeland Security Investigations" and was festooned with the shields of the Department of Justice, The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Centre and Homeland Security Investigations.
The notice advised: "This domain has been seized by ICE – Homeland Security Investigations, Special Agent in Charge, New York Office, in accordance with a seizure warrant obtained by the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, and issued pursuant to 18 USC sections 981 and 2323 by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York."
The advisory was followed by a description of the law against the reproduction or distribution of copyrighted material and punitive measures under USC18 section 2319.
It appears that the sites were primarily information vehicles designed to link punters with websites displaying the videostreamed pirated material.
The court documentation claims that the pirating of copyrighted sports material adversely impacts the legitimate revenues of both authorised broadcasters and the sports leagues themselves, forcing them to pass on losses to the man in the street by raising ticket prices and the charge for cost-per-view offerings.
Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for Manhattan, vows in the affidavit to “work with our law enforcement partners to protect copyrighted material and put the people who steal it out of business.”