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Piracy Crime United States Your Rights Online

Feds Seize Korean Movie Download Portals 215

Posted by timothy
from the aju-massi-sumnidad dept.
SharkLaser writes "Homeland Security's ICE unit has just started another phase of Operation In Our Sites. Last week the seized sites were selling counterfeit goods, but this time the list consists solely of movie download sites. ICE has now seized the domains of 11 Korean movie download portals. This is first time Operation In Our Sites has been expanded to include sites targeting non-U.S. nationals and non-English sites. ICE has since added a message in Korean to the seized sites. Interestingly, while the sites were in Korean, the domain names are all connected to a Seattle-based company World Multimedia Group, Inc."
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Feds Seize Korean Movie Download Portals

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  • First (I think) (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cpicon92 (1157705) <kristianpicon@gmail.com> on Sunday December 04, 2011 @06:37PM (#38260466)

    Honestly this is getting kind of ridiculous, though. Doesn't the US government have more pressing issues on its hands right now?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Do you think the US is going to just pass up a chance to throw their weight around?
      • Re:First (I think) (Score:4, Insightful)

        by gVibe (997166) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @07:24PM (#38260920) Homepage
        Not in a million gajillion years. I mean...who really wants to solve unemployment, education, or the economy anyway...right?!?
        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by fsckmnky (2505008)
          Allowing Koreans to counterfeit and/or pirate US companies products certainly won't create any jobs domestically.
          • Re:First (I think) (Score:5, Informative)

            by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Sunday December 04, 2011 @08:43PM (#38261484) Journal

            Wrong, wrong, and wrong.

            You talk of products and of counterfeiting. You are once again conflating the material with the immaterial. Although the term "product" does apply to a movie, there are better terms, such as "data". Nor is piracy is the same as counterfeiting. Counterfeiting also means that the origin of a product is being misrepresented, similar to plagiarism. Pirates aren't claiming to be the authors of a Beatles' song.

            You speak of "allowing", as if the default is that copying is hard, and as if some human agency has the power to grant people the ability to make copies, and can take that privilege away anytime. And as if the US has authority over Korea.

            Nor do you know what effect it all has on jobs. For all you know, your way would kill jobs, not create them. Your way certainly would hurt the economy, benefiting a few monopolies a little in exchange for a lot of expense for everyone.

            • Badly moderated (Score:5, Informative)

              by kiwimate (458274) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @09:57PM (#38261984) Journal

              1. Read the article. They are counterfeiting in some cases. In other cases, they're charging a fee for access to the pirated movies. Most people here on Slashdot, even if they support piracy, argue that charging for the pirated goods is wrong.

              2. What would you suggest instead of "allowing"? As far as your comment about the US having authority over Korea, again, you should read the article.

              So despite the fact that the sites were targeted at Korean speaking visitors, the websites appear to belong to a Seattle-based company.

              3. I suppose the poster doesn't know for sure what effect it has on jobs, but I posit that you don't either. I could just as easily say for all you know, not doing this and instead allowing the U.S. based piracy that is aimed at Korean audiences will kill jobs.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by fsckmnky (2505008)

              You talk of products and of counterfeiting. You are once again conflating the material with the immaterial.

              Material possessions, are protected by law, from theft, as copyrighted intellectual property, is protected by law, from piracy. There is no conflation. These two different types of property have in common the protection of law, although one has physical form while the other does not.

              Although the term "product" does apply to a movie, there are better terms, such as "data".

              Better [for you] in this case, because it allows you to justify the transgressions you commit when depriving the creators of the products you pirate compensation. Data, as in, formless, random, data, or data as in publicly ava

        • Re:First (I think) (Score:5, Informative)

          by InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @07:30PM (#38260968)
          US is just scared of rest of the world going forward while they're still lacking in last century. They should know - blatant violation of European copyrights was how US got its power and industry where it is to begin with.
    • Re:First (I think) (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @06:43PM (#38260536)

      elections are coming up, maybe?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        elections are coming up, maybe?

        The Democrat party wants more "donations" from the Hollywood corporate entites, sorry, "people".

    • Re:First (I think) (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 04, 2011 @07:16PM (#38260830)

      Like what? Jailing bankers, economy advisors, rating agencies CEO's for fraud, extortion, betting against their clients lying to congress (ahem...), getting 7 trillion with virtually 0%tax then selling it back to the government and the people at interests rate to pay for their bonuses, their credit default swaps, and the damage themselves created and extorted from both public and private (AIG's etc) entities? Oh yes the US government has allot of issues not only right now, but right years ago. See how well they'v been busy at pretending to care while fund raising more bribes...err financial support..incentives...America needs you! god bless America, 999!

    • by gVibe (997166)
      Being American who is disgusted with the state of our nation...I can honestly say no, we don't have anything better to do other than imposing our nonsensical overbearing egotistical attitude. Can someone PLEASE tell me what in the hell Immigration and Customs has to do with movie piracy...?
      • Re:First (I think) (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Fluffeh (1273756) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @08:00PM (#38261188)

        Can someone PLEASE tell me what in the hell Immigration and Customs has to do with movie piracy...?

        It is likely a simple distraction method to make them look like they are doing something. Business 101: If you aren't able to do your given job well, find something else that is visible and do a great job at it. People will then not focus so much on the fact that you aren't doing your job because you have done such a great job elsewhere.

        Can't stop drugs crossing the border? Can't stem the flow of illegal immigrants across the fence? Easy, take down a few shitty websites, do a "great job" of it, get in some news articles, maybe get into TV and do a nice show and tell about how much money this is saving the US (it doesn't matter if everything you say is garbage) just say "millions of dollars" and "American Taxpayers", maybe throw in a few "terrorits groups" and button it with "Jobs for hard working Americans!" and you have a wonderful media distraction while drugs keep flowing, people keep jumping the fence.

        Sadly, I think that there will be a lot more of your type (Americans who are disgusted with the state of your nation) long before anything positive happens. From what I see, there are three types of political views in America at the moment.
        1) Happy becuase I am making buckets of money through any means (Small but very connected and powerful group this lot).
        2) Disgusted with the state of America (Slowly growing middle class, and generally older or middle aged sensible folks. Remembers the days when America was really something special - and wants it to happen again).
        3) I don't give a fuck about anything, or I don't know enough about politics to make an informed stance (This is the real killer. There are so many Americans who seem to be totally and utterly living in a fairytale land of unicorns, fluffy clouds and the "Red, white and blue", getting all their information from Fox News or other similar sources who would likely be totally stunned if they knew what the rest of the world thought of America and it's longer term prospects.

        While the media and big business/big government is doing all it possibly can to ensure that group three totally outnumbers group two, I think that it is a slow war of attrition. The glory days of America are fading fast, and while there are still of course bright sparks in otherwise doom and gloom, America needs to learn to compete truly on a global scale again. Not just in small high tech niches, but in day to day manufacturing, tools, construction and really try to force home a concept of getting back to business, not importing anything and everything from some third world country with cheap labour.

        • by penix1 (722987)

          America needs to learn to compete truly on a global scale again .... not importing anything and everything from some third world country with cheap labour.

          Now that I've edited out the extraneous words do you see the contradiction you just proposed? You can't "compete globally" when your competitors can use the cheap labour (yes, I'm using your spelling of the word) you describe. The only option is to use the same cheap labour. As long as you have people who are willing to work for 20 cents a day this prob

          • Re:First (I think) (Score:4, Informative)

            by GumphMaster (772693) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @09:50PM (#38261942)

            Until there is some form of international minimum wage established...

            Be careful what you wish for. Many western countries have a minimum wage substantially higher than the US, e.g UK at about USD 9.50/hr, Australia at about USD 15, and US around USD 7.25, and most developing countries have a minimum wage that is essentially zero. Which way do you want to move your US minimum wage, who will oppose it, and what will happen when the bean counters see? If you raise it, US businesses will oppose in force and the bean counters will lay people off to keep the profit margin the same. If you drop it everybody's wage will follow. Which political party will back either option overtly? Ultimately the US doesn't want to move their minimum wage, or even obtain a uniform one, just raise the lower ones to the same level for US benefit.

      • Re:First (I think) (Score:5, Interesting)

        by AK Marc (707885) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @08:56PM (#38261588)
        Nothing. The only thing to do at this point is to take up arms. I'm a pacifist kind of guy, so I just got residency elsewhere and moved. I'll be a citizen elsewhere soon enough, and not be necessarily tied to the sinking ship of the US. I'm just hoping the rest of the world can route around the economic damage that is the US.
        • by Thing 1 (178996)
          Where. Please. I'm reaching the same conclusion but haven't found a decent alternative. Canada, perhaps? I like the Oceania project but it fizzled, and would have been invaded soon enough.
          • by AK Marc (707885)
            Oceania sounds like a good place, just look at the real one, not the failed project.
    • Re:First (I think) (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @07:28PM (#38260950) Homepage Journal

      MPAA, RIAA, and the other alphabet soup organizations OWN the US government. Said government does NOT represent the American people, anymore. That government represents only the wealth "rights holders". A mere citizen is unworthy of congress' attention, or concern.

    • Immigration enforcement agents have a lot of time on their hands now that the southern border has been de facto dissolved.
    • Honestly this is getting kind of ridiculous, though. Doesn't the US government have more pressing issues on its hands right now?

      This is the same question the cop is asked by every white collar criminal he collars.

      No matter how small the crime or how big.

  • by bky1701 (979071) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @06:39PM (#38260500) Homepage
    ...until the United States loses this power. You can't abuse control of a protocol like this and not have people in other countries (like Europe and Japan) start to wonder if they should break off.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 04, 2011 @06:46PM (#38260566)
      Why? .com domain names are US domain names. If they want to have a pirate site in Korea, how about getting a .kr domain name? You do know that the US can only seize US domain names right? If you don't want it taken, then get your domain name registered in your own damn country.
      • Exactly what I was thinking... I don't have mod points unfortunately.
    • by Lisias (447563)

      ...until the United States loses this power.[...]

      Sorry, but nops.

      There's no way a so well armed country goes downhill without dragging the rest of the world too.

      We can argue that China would be a long term threat, but while USA have control of an fine working army, it will be on the top of the food chain - someone must buy China's products or it will not manage to fund their army.

      USA can loose control on some minor, punctual issues - but never on what really matters.

      (And no, I'm not happy with that)

      • by spauldo (118058)

        Rome was the best armed group (countries didn't really exist then) of its time. It fell, just like all empires before it.

        There's a lot more to holding influence and power than a large army. Most of the influence America has is economic and social rather than military.

        A few reasons for this:

        1) We won the cold war. Previous areas of Soviet influence look to democratic countries as a model, and the U.S. pushes its pro-democracy stance pretty hard.

        2) The English language. Yeah, the U.K. and various other

        • by Lisias (447563)

          My argument was that There's no way a so well armed country goes downhill without dragging the rest of the world too., and your post seems to enforce my argument.

          Rome was, at its time, THE economic, social and cultural lighthouse of the world. But all that just came AFTER Rome became THE military power of that time. Just like USA.

          The Nukes, as you correctly stated, assures mutually destruction - and that's the reason Russia is loosing political relevance - they just can't use it.

          Money just have value for yo

        • by VanessaE (970834)

          Generally I agree with the content of your post, save for this:

          As far as our military, so what? We've never gone to war with anyone with nukes

          The residents of Nagasaki and Hiroshima would probably disagree with you rather strongly.

          • by pjt33 (739471)

            That was my initial reaction, but then I realised that the intended interpretation was that the US has never gone to war against a nuclear power.

  • by Dan East (318230) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @06:41PM (#38260510) Homepage Journal

    On first inspection, the majority of the sites offered access to downloads of the latest Hollywood blockbusters for a small charge.

    Okay, so they were selling and profiting off of someone else's IP. Doesn't matter who they were "marketing" it to, if the copyright violation crosses into the jurisdiction of the US government then of course they will act.

    • by masternerdguy (2468142) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @06:44PM (#38260548)
      I agree that the Korean sites were in the wrong and should have been taken down, but is ICE really the right group to do this crap? Isn't there some kind of international thing that should be handling this?
      • by Baloroth (2370816)

        Isn't there some kind of international thing that should be handling this?

        Don't think so, I believe that is what ACTA is for.

        If that is the other option, ICE doesn't seem so bad.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          There were congressmen comparing ICE to the gestapo years ago.

          The moment I knew that Homeland security was out of control happened a few months ago. I was in the City Heights section of San Diego buying beer. Some little Mexican kid jaywalked and ran across El Cajon Blvd in front of an SUV. The SUV, along with another SUV and an unmarked car, pulled into the parking lot the kid ran into and then no less than 6 fully armed ICE agents jumped out of all 3 vehicles and had the kid sitting on the ground with
      • From the article:

        So despite the fact that the sites were targeted at Korean speaking visitors, the websites appear to belong to a Seattle-based company.

        So while I'm not going to comment on whether ICE is the right group, it's certainly a U.S. group that should be doing it, not "some kind of international thing".

    • Okay, so they were selling and profiting off of someone else's IP

      Since I assume you are spreading the "intellectual property" lie and not talking about the Internet Protocol, allow me to say this: there is no such thing as intellectual property. Copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets are not even in the same category of law as property rights. Property rights do not expire the way copyrights and patents do. You do not have to actively defend your property to retain your property rights, the way you do with trademarks. Copyrights, patents, trademarks an

      • by sconeu (64226)

        Copyrights expire???? Not since 1927

      • by pjt33 (739471)

        You do not have to actively defend your property to retain your property rights, the way you do with trademarks.

        You do, actually, in common law countries (including the USA), or you can lose them via adverse possession.

    • Koreans are making money hand over fist from latest Hollywood "blockbuster" and people are obviously paying them yet this give the customers what they want idea seems to escape every single Hollywood CEO.

    • by Arker (91948) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @10:42PM (#38262206) Homepage

      Okay, so they were selling and profiting off of someone else's IP. Doesn't matter who they were "marketing" it to, if the copyright violation crosses into the jurisdiction of the US government then of course they will act.

      On the surface that seems like a reasonable argument. However it ignores the fundamental principles our justice system is founded upon, on several points. We supposedly believe in innocent until proven guilty, and due process of law, for example. Yet these actions are being taken without a trial. Furthermore, the offenses you mention are not criminal offenses, but civil offenses, which in our system of justice are supposed to be handled in a very different way from this.

      Without in any way defending the sites in question, the actions being taken by ICE in this case do not seem at all consistent with the principles of american justice.

  • Ridiculous (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Further proof that the US Govt/ICE is a police whore for the Entertainment Industry.

  • Lets see how brave the ICE fags are.

    • by game kid (805301)

      That's ok. At the rate they take down (or let others take down) videos and their audio tracks, and with how easily comments there yield silly one-on-one arguments (when they're not "%dislike_count% people %snarky_comment_about_dislikers%", outright spam, or simply dumb), YouTube is taking down YouTube just fine.

      Fun while it lasted, I guess. Can't have so many GBs of homemade videos on a website forever...

      • Once upon a time, there were P2P networks where people shared videos using a highly distributed, hard to control system. You could search the networks and find funny things. There was some copyright infringement, as one would expect. A lot of people were too technically illiterate to figure out how to use P2P networks, or were too illiterate to recognize the viruses that unfriendly people were sharing on the networks.

        Then wave after wave of lawsuits hit P2P network users. Although people were more li
  • It seems to me that the only real check on American "law" as it pertains to non-Americans and other nations is audacity. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't due process something that happens within the US itself?
    • by Arker (91948)

      By the letter of the law this is not true. The fifth amendment, for example, begins "No person shall be held to answer..." NOT 'no citizen.'

      The founders made clear their belief in *human rights* which emanate from natural law and are common to all people, given by our creator and common to all human beings regardless of nationality.

      However unfortunately we have been doing a very poor job of living up to the ideals of the founders or even the letter of our own laws, so what you say seems to be defacto correc

  • All the Images (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pgn674 (995941) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @07:27PM (#38260948) Homepage

    I gathered all 10 of the banners used in the 377 seized domains, and uploaded them here: DOJ Seized Domain Notices - Paul Nickerson - Picasa Web Albums [google.com]

  • So ICE only "captures" domains in US-controlled TLDs. What's exactly the rule to decide that? For example, what about geographic but not country specific TLDs like .eu? Are they safe?

    • by spauldo (118058)

      They "capture" any they can. .edu is controlled by the U.S., so yes, they could certainly take a .edu domain. I couldn't see that happening, since .edu domains are only alloted to colleges and universities, and you can get at the people responsible in easier (and less controversial) ways.

  • by Hyperhaplo (575219) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @09:50PM (#38261944)

    I am in Australia. I would like to play several movies and TV shows on my mobile. How can I do this legally?

    I have a stack of CDs at home. Went through them last night to organise what I'll be watching for the next month or so (in regards to watching from physical medium). While annoying to have to change the disks each time, it's something I can put up with.

    My SO is currently travelling. Good news is that the primary communications device she has, a Samsung Galaxy S, is well capable of video playback and could store several movies and quite a few TV episodes.. so how can this be done legally?

    The answer of 'rip the DVDs, compress, and encode to AVI, then upload the files to the phone' is not the answer I am looking for.
    Big Media is currently looking to sue downloaders, and by extension any related illegal activity in Australia.

    So let's drive in the white lane. Let's do The Right Thing. Here is a list of movies and TV shows to put on this phone. How can this be done legally?
    (and not all at once, obviously, due to the amount of content. Although, with enough memory sticks space should not be an issue)
    (this is her 'for start' list.. just the things she'd like to watch now.. and yes, already have the DVDs for all of these

    * Easy A
    * Gilmore Girls
    * Life on Mars
    * JAG
    * Serenity
    * Firefly
    * Brothers and Sisters
    * Morning Glory
    * The Good Witch
    * Modern Family
    * Castle

    Now, for a good old fashioned rant regarding the story..

    Some time ago we purchased the Gilmore Girls DVDs. Local store, all 10 seasons. All good, right?
    Well, no. The sound was bad. Terrible actually. So, we put up with it thinking that it was our TV / System.
    Had a few issues with a few disks. Long story really short is that a kind soul purchased the series online (and yes, the whole 10 seasons) as a boxed set which "patched the holes" from the 'store bought' disks. Excellent.
    The 'online version' of the Gilmore Girls DVDs is of superior quality for the sound, the DVD menus and DVD functions. (I am not sure how to explain this. The 'store bought DVDs always seem to have issues loading / reading .. but the online version just works.. some issues with loading sometimes, but generally works without issue.. )

    Cost comparison:
    Store bought: We between $15 and $20 per season for Gilmore Girls at the local Kmart / BigW stores. For the 10 seasons I estimate that we spent ~170 in total for 10 seasons.
    Online version: The boxed set of 10 seasons on DVD online apparently was just under $100 delivered (along with other stuff.. so, possibly $80).
    Difference: Around $50 to $90 depending on local price vs online price

    Quality: I would never purchase this DVD boxed set, either locally or online. The sound is terrible.

    So, here the 'pirates' are producing a superior product, selling it for cheaper than the local retailers, have a 'disk replacement' policy with (what amounts to) DRM free and no UOP (which are highly irritating).

    It's a pity that they don't have a service to buy properly encoded and tagged AVI's.

    So far as I am concerned, Big Media are shooting themselves in the foot right now. Who doesn't have a smart phone capable of playing movies an TV shows? How many of us would watch shows on our phone if we could?

    Here is my money. Will you take it?

    No.

    *sigh*

    Yes, I know, it's been said before. Now it's just biting, kicking and screaming. Personally, I wish the 'pirates' all the best. They are providing a service that Big Media won't.

  • by crossmr (957846) on Monday December 05, 2011 @12:56AM (#38262748) Journal

    These sites are nothing. There are tons of major, and apparently legal download sites in Korea. You can download the latest blockbuster for 10 cents. They're advertised everywhere, they sponsor stuff, you get coupons for them when you order stuff, etc.

    They're most run off Korean servers though. Very few Koreans would be going to overseas sites to download this kind of stuff. The current state of the underseas cable to the US is still very bad after the earthquake/tsunami and speeds continue to get slower.

    It's an incredible victory to announce though

  • With all that is going down around the country, this is what they spend our money on? With the unemployment the way it is, social security not keeping up with inflation, and people having trouble making it, THIS is what my tax dollars are being spent on?
  • by devent (1627873) on Monday December 05, 2011 @02:33AM (#38263268) Homepage

    It's the same stupidity as with drugs counterfeit. The US government will spend millions to fight copyright violations, with will have no effect on the quality and availability on sites. But it will make the organizations more criminal and will put more people in jail for minor offends.

    Here is a forecast how this will end (just replace drugs with copyright infringement)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsk8R_j5zzg [youtube.com]
    ""It pains me to know that there is a solution for preventing tragedy and nothing is being done because of ignorance, stubbornness, unsubstantiated fear and greed."

    Hear Neill Franklin, Executive Director of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), speak on the problems and costs of the war on drugs, and the reasons society would be better off if it were ended."

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