WASHINGTON -- Federal District Courts have ordered the seizure of 82 domain names of commercial websites engaged in the illegal sale and distribution of counterfeit goods and copyrighted works as part of Operation "In Our Sites v. 2.0," Attorney General Eric Holder and Director John Morton of the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today. The following is a comment from Bob Pisano, President and Interim CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA):
"The federal government today engaged in a broad crackdown on dozens of the most notorious websites that illegally sell and distribute counterfeit goods and copyrighted works, including stolen digital content and movie and television boxed sets. These ‘worst of the worst' rogue websites, which cloak themselves in respectability yet traffic in counterfeit and stolen goods, victimize not only the buyers of these products, but the more than 2.4 million hardworking Americans whose livelihoods depend on a healthy motion picture and television industry. We thank the Department of Justice and ICE for their continuing efforts in addressing this serious problem."
A Note for Holiday Shoppers:
With the holiday season rush fast approaching, the MPAA offers the following tips to consumers to help them avoid being victimized by sites that offer counterfeit copies of motion pictures and television shows:
• Remember the Adage "You Get What You Pay For": Even if you are hoping to get your favorite movies or TV shows at a discount, new or used, extremely low prices might indicate illegal product.
• Order only from trusted Internet sites you know and are familiar with: If it is a new site, check to see if the site's contact information contains legitimate addresses and or phone numbers (counterfeit sites do not have phone contact numbers). Beware of sites that have poor quality photos, spelling mistakes, lack terms and conditions of sale, and are not secure. If the items are being sold on an auction site, do they appear to have far too many identical items for sale?
• Watch for Titles that are "Too New to be True": Movies that have yet to be released or which are still out in theatres are generally not available in the DVD/Blu-ray format. If very recent titles are being sold through an auction or other online retail sites, they are most likely illegal.
• Read the Description of the DVDs Being Offered: If the disc being offered is an "All-Region, "0-Region" or "No Region" product, it is highly likely that the DVD/Blu-ray is illegal. Furthermore, if the movie studio listed is a company you've never heard of, that should be a warning sign.
• Report illegal products: Many counterfeit and pirated goods are the product of complex illegal manufacturing and distributing operations. If you suspect an intellectual property crime, report it to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center at http://www.ice.gov/iprcenter/ or to local law enforcement.