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Feds Raid Free Movie-Sharing Sites, Pirates Cry, 'Ahrrr!'

sad jack sparrow
Readers, this is a sad, sad day for those of you who think movie piracy isn't such a bad thing. Yesterday, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, along with officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, disabled nine domains of websites that had been offering pirated films and TV shows. The crackdown spanned New York, New Jersey, Washington, North Carolina and even the Netherlands, and involved the seizure of assets from 15 bank accounts and the execution of several residential search warrants.

Servers have not yet been seized, however, so it's possible that some of the sites could simply set up shop under different domain names. But John Morton, Assistant Secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, issued a war-like pronouncement to would-be pirates at a press conference held at none other than the Walt Disney Studio lot: "If a site reappears, so will we. If the criminals move overseas, we will follow."

Haters of Hulu Plus and any other site that offers entertainment media for a fee will be dismayed to see that the following sites have been shuttered: TVShack.net, PlanetMoviez.com, ThePirateCity.org, Movies-Links.TV, FilesPump.com, Now-Movies.com, ZML.com, NinjaVideo.net and NinjaThis.net.

Apparently, those sites have received a combined 6.7 million page views each month. To us, then, studios are ignoring a giant advertising opportunity for the sake of what amounts to penny-pinching. Why not partner with some of the sites so that everyone can benefit?

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said that film piracy results in job losses for the movie industry, but we wonder if some of that could maybe be offset by paying, say, Johnny Depp a little less? After all, he brought in $92 million for work he did between June 2006 and June 2007. And check out the outrageous salaries of other actors and filmmakers who don't even come close to Depp's range (of playing the same fey, wacky, creepy character in every recent Tim Burton film). Maybe throw a key grip a few of those bucks if the industry's so concerned about worker's jobs. [From: Huffington Post]

Tags: copyright, CopyrightInfringement, huluplus, ImmigrationAndCustomsEnforcement, JohnMorton, JohnnyDepp, movies, piracy, PreetBharara, StreamingVideo, top, TvShows, UsAttorney

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