Washington -- U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Justice Department Wednesday
launched anti-Internet protocol piracy initiative "Operation In Our
Sites" with the seizure of nine domain names it says were offering films
and TV shows online illegally, in the case of the films within hours of their
ICE and the U.S.
Attorney for the Southern District of New York also seized assets from PayPal
accounts, banks and advertising accounts, and searched residences in New York,
New Jersey, Washington, and North Carolina.
Announcing the seizures
on a Burbank, Calif., soundstage (The Walt Disney Studios) and flanked by
members of the Motion Picture Association of America, ICE Assistant Secretary
John Morton said that the sites had been run by people "who have no
respect for creativity and innovation," according to a release from U.S.
Immmigration and Customers Enforcement.
According to Customs,
the sites seized were NinjaVideo.net, NinjaThis.net, tvshack,net,
movies-links.TV, filespump.com, now-movies.com, planetmoviez.com,
thepiratecity.org, and zml.com.
motion picture and television industry is one of our nation's most valuable
cultural and ecnomic resources," said Mike Robinson, chief of operations,
content protection for MPAA. "We are grateful ICE, the Obama
administration and the federal agencies that have made the protection of
intellectual property for the United States."
The seizures follow the
White House's June 22 unveiling of its first strategic plan for cracking down
on intellectual property theft, including the pirating of TV shows, movies, and
other online content.