82 Websites Shut Down by GovernmentBy James Johnson on November 30, 2010, 10:18 am
The U.S. government shut down 82 websites yesterday that were said to be offering pirated or counterfeit products. The operation was conducted by both Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Justice.
For nearly ten years the Federal government has been battling websites considered illegal, starting with Napster. A prolonged legal fight ensued, with Napster’s free peer-to-peer music file sharing finally being declared an infringement on copyrights, and Napster was ordered to cease and desist.
A number of peer-to-peer websites were targeted yesterday and shut down. Free – and illegal – sites offering music, movies, and software are popular with younger Internet searchers, who are often motivated by a lack of money or the thrill of theft.
Most of the sites shut down were offering counterfeit goods, including sports equipment, shoes, handbags, athletic apparel, jewelry, watches, and sunglasses. Some also offered illegally obtained DVDs, CDs, and software programs. Many of the items were shipped from overseas suppliers, and some of the sites originate from foreign countries. Unfortunately, these markets are so lucrative that new sites pop up soon after the old sites are shut down.
As long as buyers search for “cheap” or “free”, there will be marketers willing to cheat you. It’s also important to note that some of these sites are not clean, and can infect your computer with a virus or sell your email address to other undesirable sites. Let the buyer beware.