IFPI statement on FBI internet piracy sweep
July 1, 2005
IFPI Chairman and CEO John Kennedy said: "On behalf the international recording industry, IFPI welcomes the US Justice Department actions against organized internet piracy networks in ten countries. Following on from the landmark decision on Grokster by the U.S. Supreme Court, this new action sends the strongest signal worldwide that these pirate online sites are not only illegal, but they will also will be found, taken down and brought to justice.
"These illegal sites present one of the most serious forms of intellectual property theft worldwide. They steal pre-release recordings from artists and copyright holders and make them available illegally across the world. The US action is good for copyright holders and the music industry internationally."
The U.S. Department of Justice announced yesterday a major international enforcement action against criminal organizations involved in the illegal online distribution of copyrighted material. â€˜Operation Site Downâ€™ was the culmination of three separate undercover investigations conducted by the FBI, and involved over 90 searches in 10 countries. The enforcement activity was designed to disrupt and dismantle many of the leading criminal organizations that illegally distribute and trade in copyrighted software, movies, music and games on the internet. Four individuals were arrested in the United States, and searches and/or arrests occurred in the following 10 countries: Canada, Israel, France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal and Australia. At least eight major online distribution sites were dismantled, preventing tens of millions of dollars worth of further losses to the content industry. Over 120 leading members of the organized online piracy underground have been identified so far, and additional targets will continue to be identified and pursued.