Federal authorities have seized at least six websites that prosecutors say offered for download pirated Latin music.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced the seizures on Monday. According to the affidavit, federal agents began investigating the websites in April following the complaints of a music industry consortium. The websites that have been seized include:
According to federal prosecutors, these six websites generated around 6.6 million visitors per month. Users sold ads on the website, offering pirated Latin music for download. The seizures appear to be carried out as part of Brazil’s Operation 404, which is targeting websites that offer illegal distribution of music.
The seizure banner on the domains features the seals of IPR Center, Department of Justice, and Homeland Security Investigations. Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security’s seal is also featured on the seizure details.
On June 14, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) filed an HSI Special Agent affidavit at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. It details why their is probable cause to seize the six domains by citing alleged criminal copyright infringement offenses.
Brazilian anti-piracy company Ltahub reached out to federal officials in Brazil and the U.S. on April 2022 about the six domains. The company acts as a representative of Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group, and Interscope Records in Latin America & the Caribbean.
Both the domains corourbanos.com and SIMP3.com are accused of pre-release piracy. The websites regularly made music available in advance of its commercial release, hurting. According to the affidavit, all of the pirate music site domains easily meet the standard for criminal copyright infringement. There’s nothing in the affidavit that asserts the owner of the domains are being prosecuted.