Seizure orders have been executed against 150 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.
“Through this operation we are aggressively targeting those who are selling counterfeit goods for their own personal gain while costing our economy much needed revenue and jobs,” said FBI Attorney General Eric Holder. “Intellectual property crimes harm businesses and consumers, alike, threatening economic opportunity and financial stability, and today we have sent a clear message that the Department will remain ever vigilant in protecting the public’s economic welfare and public safety through robust intellectual property enforcement.”
The 150 seized domains are in the custody of the federal government. Visitors to the sites will now find a seizure banner that notifies them that the domain name has been seized by federal authorities and educates them that willful copyright infringement is a federal crime.
During the operation, federal law enforcement agents made undercover purchases products including professional sports jerseys, golf equipment, DVD sets, footwear, handbags and sunglasses. In most cases, the goods were shipped directly into the US from suppliers in other countries.
The operation is the eighth phase of Operation In Our Sites, an initiative to protect consumers by targeting counterfeit and piracy on the Internet. This is the second year that a phase of Operation In Our Sites has coincided with Cyber Monday. In November 2010, 82 websites were seized during the Cyber Monday-related operation.
Since the operation’s June 2010 launch, the IPR Center has seized a total of 350 domain names, and the seizure banner has received more than 77 million individual views.