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Fed Cracks Down on Web Piracy

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The federal government Monday (Nov. 29) stepped up the war against Internet piracy, issuing seizure orders against 82 commercial Web sites engaged in the illegal sale and distribution of counterfeit goods and copyrighted works, such as music sharing sites.

The action was part of the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Operation In Our Sites, first announced in June.

Among the sites targeted were online retailers selling counterfeit sports equipment, shoes and sunglasses; and sites trafficking in illegal copies of copyrighted DVD boxed sets, music and software. Individuals attempting to access the Web sites will be met with a banner notifying them that the domain of the Web site was seized by federal authorities.

"By seizing these domain names, we have disrupted the sale of thousands of counterfeit items, while also cutting off funds to those willing to exploit the ingenuity of others for their own personal gain,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “Intellectual property crimes are not victimless. The theft of ideas and the sale of counterfeit goods threaten economic opportunities and financial stability, suppress innovation and destroy jobs. The Justice Department, with the help of our law enforcement partners, is changing the perception that these crimes are risk-free with enforcement actions like the one announced today.”