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US Gov't Seized7 Websites!

The Giant Noodle

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After the U.S. Government took action against several sites connected to movie streaming recently, nerves are jangling over the possibility that this is just the beginning of a wider crackdown. Now it appears that a free blogging platform has been taken down by its hosting provider on orders from the U.S. authorities on grounds of “a history of abuse”. More than 73,000 blogs are out of action as a result.

Hot on the heels of recent threats from Vice President Joe Biden and Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel directed at sites offering unauthorized movies and music, last month U.S. authorities targeted several sites they claimed were connected to the streaming of infringing video material.
Operation In Our Sites‘ targeted several sites including TVShack.net, Movies-Links.TV, FilesPump.com, Now-Movies.com, PlanetMoviez.com, ThePirateCity.org, ZML.com, NinjaVideo.net and NinjaThis.net. In almost unprecedented action, the domain names of 7 sites were seized and indications are that others – The Pirate Bay and MegaUpload – narrowly avoided the same fate.
Fears remain, however, that this action is only the beginning, and that more sites will be targeted as the months roll on. Indeed, TorrentFreak has already received information that other sites, so far unnamed in the media, are being monitored by the authorities on copyright grounds.
Now, according to the owner of a free WordPress platform which hosts more than 73,000 blogs, his network of sites has been completely shut down on the orders of the authorities.
Blogetery.com has been with host BurstNet for 7 months but on Friday July 9th the site disappeared. The following Monday the owner received an email from BurstNet:
Due to the history of abuse and on going abuse on this ‘bn.***********’ server.
We have opted to terminate this server, effective immediately. This termination applies to: bn.affiliateplex.com
Abuse Department
BurstNET Technologies, Inc
Further correspondence received the following response:
Bn.xx*********** was terminated by request of law enforcement officials, due to material hosted on the server.
We are limited as to the details we can provide to you, but note that this was a critical matter and the only available option to us was to immediately deactivate the server.
…and a later clarification:
Please note that this was not a typical case, in which suspension and notification would be the norm. This was a critical matter brought to our attention by law enforcement officials. We had to immediately remove the server.
“We notified him [the Blogetery owner] when we terminated it [the server], and we refunded him his money to his account, because he has other servers with us If he wants the refund to his card, we can easily do that. However, it should be the least of his concerns,” A BurstNet representative later confirmed.
“Simply put: We cannot give him his data nor can we provide any other details. By stating this, most would recognize that something serious is afoot.”
Due to the fact that the authorities aren’t sharing information and BurstNet are sworn to secrecy, it is proving almost impossible to confirm the exact reason why Blogetery has been completely taken down. The owner does, however, admit to handling many copyright-related cease and desists in the past, albeit in a timely manner as the DMCA requires.
Nevertheless, a couple of quick Google searches which are likely to turn up blogs which link to copyright material appear to do just that – here, here and here. That said, on any network this large this type of activity is bound to happen. Many thousands of blogs on the same platform would have been perfectly legal.
“All of the users are without service just like when the Pirate Bay raids happened and all the people who were on the host sites were also taken down,” pointed out an annoyed Blogetery user who contacted TorrentFreak. “I have lost my personal site also and I don’t have any way to contact the owner since his contact info was on the blogetery.com site & that was the only way to contact him.”
Indeed, 73,000 blogs is a significant number to take down in one swoop, regardless of what some users of the site may or may not have been doing. Time will tell if it was indeed a copyright complaint that took down the service but the signs are certainly there. Not so long ago the conclusion that this type of action could be taken on copyright grounds would have been dismissed out of hand, but the current atmosphere seems to be changing.

U.S. Authorities Shut Down Wordpress Host With 73,000 Blogs | TorrentFreak
 

Harry Guerrilla

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Gotta get those violet file sharers, glad to see them doing something so important.
Instead of things like balancing the budget, fixing immigration etc.

As for the blog site, from what I've been reading he wasn't given a reason as to why it was shut down.
Only that the authorities ordered it.
Probable cause anyone?

Gotta love big government going after those dangerous bloggers.
 
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MaggieD

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I read about this and also wondered why they'd taken down those blogs. I assumed it probably had something to do with that user in particular -- and perhaps a few others -- interacting with child porn or pedaphilia. Since they couldn't read all 73,000 blogs, they just closed the server.....??
 

Aunt Spiker

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Saw this coming a mile away. . . they're so knee deep in deficit they *must* try to make up money.

While I don't support theft of such things - I don't see it actually bringing these people to buy these movies/albums - they'll just go without :shrug: OR order from China :) But suddenly start to spring out money for what they were getting for free - yeah, not happenin
 

Fiddytree

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I believe the smartest observation that was made by many in 2000 was efforts to shut down a number of websites or computer applications will do little to curb the actual amount of piracy on the internet. In effect, they were quite correct.

While I don't support theft of such things - I don't see it actually bringing these people to buy these movies/albums - they'll just go without OR order from China But suddenly start to spring out money for what they were getting for free - yeah, not happenin
There is merit in the idea that they lost a large portion of the message in these past ten years. There has been a dozen or more years that internet piracy has been able to spread like wildfire and has taken over the mindset of a whole generation.

That being said, I believe they could have and still can tame the problem by thinking that while they need to rhetorically battle the very notion of piracy as they see it, they also need to keep the mindset that they have to compete with "free." While the DMCA was awful in regards to fair use rights, the other reality is that millions are basically "stealing" the content (I'm not interested in the trite discussion of "theft" of IP or digital data versus a physical copy being removed-it's been done millions of times over the past decade and has been service to pirates justifying their conduct), and are expecting it to remain relatively comfortable to do so from now on.

To me, paying roughly equal prices for services like, iTunes movie downloads, to a DVD/Blu-ray purchase is abhorrent, considering the lack of maneuverability in comparison to the regular format that would clearly, clearly irritate customers. When one is limited to using a software program or an AppleTV (which to Apple is merely "a hobby" product) in order to view the content rather than allow it to be easily transferable to even a DVD copy so the majority of consumers can actually comfortably view the content is completely counter-productive for the industries involved (computer and tv/film).
 
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Travelsonic

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(I'm not interested in the trite discussion of "theft" of IP or digital data versus a physical copy being removed-it's been done millions of times over the past decade and has been service to pirates justifying their conduct)
Well, since you brought upon the gross generalization in regards to those who get into the debate, we're jumping in to it anyways.

It HAS been used to justify piracy, but it is used overwhelmingly by people who just want to make sure that a debate is done with all the facts straight. You can't, for example, ignore the fact that "theft of IP" does not exist as a crime [or a civil tort even], you'd think there was such a thing if the idea that copying a digital good and taking that copy [leaving the origianl with the person who had the copy to start] and taking something from somebody depriving them of said thing were equals had any merit. The only people who used such terms are, unsurprisingly, people from the RIAA, MPAA, and BSA. There is a reason copyright infringement and theft are not recognized as the same under the law - not because one is more ok than the other, but because they aren't in any way the same in regards to what actually occurs.
 

Redress

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So the government took action against criminal sites. Oh, the horrors.
 

Travelsonic

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So the government took action against criminal sites. Oh, the horrors.
Yeah, if the web owners are, as they are claiming, removing copyright infringing content in the time limits specificed by the DMCA, and that - being copyright issues - is the major driving force in this, how can one say this action was reasonable - barring many other underlying shutdown reasons?
 
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