6 Domains from music piracy websites have been confiscated because the domain administrators are based in the USA. The visitors are living elsewhere again.
Last week, Brazilian law enforcement announced another phase of their operation 404 after countless illegal streaming apps had previously been taken off the market. The US Department of Justice and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) have now announced the confiscation of six domains.
The seizures were made because the registries and domain administrators Verisign and GoDaddy are US companies. The only question is what authorities from the USA have to do with the concerns of the music industry in Brazil. In addition, it turned out that the websites were in Spanish and that they can only be understood to a very limited extent in Brazil.
Brazil can now prove that it has taken action against pirates
The six domains are as follows: Corourbanos.com, Corourbano.com, Pautamp3.com, SIMP3.com, Flowactivo.co and Mp3Teca.ws. The whole thing becomes even more interesting when one examines in more detail by what means and on what basis the TLDs were confiscated. As the press release nicely states, the purpose of the campaign is to prevent site visitors from streaming or downloading copyrighted content from those sites. So far so good.
The applicant is not a US company, but the Brazil-based anti-piracy company Ltahub. It operates in Latin America and the Caribbean on behalf of Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group and Interscope Records. US authorities also received information from the music association IFPI, which confirmed that the allegations against the sites were correct. The pages have had up to 1.8 million individual visitors per month, which has generated correspondingly higher access numbers.
The HSI considered a criminal seizure order to be justified, since the domains will be confiscated in the event of a conviction of the domain owner would have to be. However, there is no talk of further measures against the operators. That probably won’t be necessary either. It will be difficult to find them. Their business model is already broken because their portals are already out of service.
Domain takeover for US companies simple
Taking over the domains was very easy, because Corourbanos. com, Corourbano.com, Pautamp3.com, and SIMP3.com all use the .com top-level domain. The .com registry is VeriSign, based in Reston, Virginia. This means these domains could easily be seized at the highest level.
US Domain Registrar Target
The confiscations of Flowactivo.co and Mp3Teca.ws had to be handled differently. The registry of the TLDs outside of the USA is located at the two representatives. The registry for “.co” is in Bogotá, Colombia. The registry for “.ws” is in Samoa. They just went one level deeper and contacted domain registrar GoDaddy LLC based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Dierser was simply given the same name change prevention instructions as Verisign. This also led to the fact that you can no longer visit the pages.
Most people in Brazil don’t speak Spanish at all!
However, the procedure seems strange because these domains only served audiences from the USA in exceptional cases. Most of the users were people from South and Central America who need to know Spanish. For most US citizens, the pages were not usable at all because they could not be operated due to the language barrier. So the question arises as to why, under these conditions, US authorities of all people acted on behalf of Brazilian music companies. The guests from Brazil don’t understand the Spanish-language content either, because Portuguese is spoken there. The affected pages are therefore actually not even of interest to local music companies. If anything, the confiscation should have taken place from Spain, Mexico, Venezuela, etc. So in countries where they speak the same language as the online pirates.
A country under surveillance by the US authorities
Torrentfreak colleagues assume they did this to argue that they had done enough to stop online piracy. Brazil has been under constant US surveillance for years. Again and again the accusation came that one did too little against the copyright violations of the labels and film companies from the USA. Brazil is listed in 2022 Special 87 report. This is a kind of watch list from the US Department of Commerce – The accusation is that they have not sufficiently combated IPTV piracy. Interestingly, as part of the most recent phase of the operation 404 one has mostly illegal streaming devices confiscated. Another coincidence? Hardly likely!
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