The United States and Brazil have teamed up to take down multiple websites and apps that were selling pirated versions of American-made movies and TV shows.
In a joint effort dubbed “Operation 404,” seizure warrants were executed against three domain names of commercial websites engaged in the illegal reproduction and distribution of copyrighted works.
The federal law enforcement operation targeted online services that provided illegal copies of television shows and movies owned by American rights holders to audiences in Brazil and beyond.
According to the affidavit in support of the warrants, each of the three domains—megatorrentshd.biz, comandotorrentshd.tv, and bludv.tv—offered “free access to copyrighted content to website visitors all over the world, including released and pre-release feature-length movies and television shows.”
Megatorrentshd.biz featured roughly 335 different television series and approximately 84 navigation pages, with around 20 film titles per page.
While Comandotorrentshd.tv displayed movies and television shows, with approximately 10 titles per page, distributed throughout around 124 navigation pages, Bludv.tv offered users a choice of around 9,500 different entertainment titles.
Operation 404 was coordinated with Brazil’s Secretariat of Integrated Operations (SEOPI) at Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security (MoJPS).
“By seizing these domain names, law enforcement has disrupted the unlawful reproduction and distribution of thousands of pirated television shows and movies, while also cutting off the profits to unlawful actors willing to exploit the hard work of others for their own personal gain,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
“The Justice Department, together with our international law enforcement partners, will continue to take enforcement actions to identify, seize, and disable these sites wherever they exist around the globe.”
The federal government now has custody of the domains. Users who attempt to access the seized sites will now be confronted with a seizure banner and a notice that informs them that willful copyright infringement is a federal crime.
“Illegal streaming is not a victimless crime,” said Derek Benner, executive associate director for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). “It harms the content creators of the shows that you know and love, and feeds a criminal enterprise whose profits support organized criminal endeavors.”