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The Courts United States Your Rights Online

US DOJ Drops Charges Against Two Seized Websites 152

angry tapir writes "The U.S. Department of Justice has dropped its case against two Spanish websites that stream sports events nearly 17 months after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized the sites and shut them down for alleged copyright violations. In a one-page brief to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the district said his office had dropped the case against and ICE seized the two sites on Jan. 31, 2011, and the DOJ asked the court to order that Puerto 80 Projects, the owner of the sites, forfeit the sites to the U.S. government."
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US DOJ Drops Charges Against Two Seized Websites

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30, 2012 @08:09AM (#41176929)

    What about the lost money? Time to sue.

  • Misleading headline. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Robert Zenz ( 1680268 ) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @08:21AM (#41176975) Homepage
    According to the WhoIs, the .com domain was registered by a company in Arizona (Domain Proxy Company). The .org domain still shows up at the DoJ. Not sure, but looks like these were within the legislation of the U.S., because registered there.
  • by jythie ( 914043 ) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @08:41AM (#41177109)
    Sadly, while the US can seize foreign assets, often courts rule that foreign companies do not have standing to sue. The standards for what constitutes having a local presence seem to vary according to which side the government is on....
  • by jythie ( 914043 ) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @08:44AM (#41177121)
    Sadly, yep. The laws are functioning 'as intended'. Our legal system was never really designed to be fair or equal access, it has a lot of the 'individualism' mentality built into it, with justice going to those who have the money and power to utilize it. This is generally billed as 'freedom' since more of your fate is in your own hands.. or at minimal if your chances are not good you can blame the victim more.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30, 2012 @08:46AM (#41177131)

    To make them whole, the site owners need their site, payment for lost revenue, and advertizing to bring back the lost users.

    If they got their site back due to a recent court ruling, then it may be hard to show that DoJ acted in bad faith when they first seized the site.

    Perhaps the system worked as it was supposed to, which says the system needs adjusting.
          Unfortunately, the content owners are busy 'adjusting' it in the opposite direction.

    I don't see how the site owners can be made whole except maybe for some fund reserved for folks convicted and then proved innocent.

  • Re:Lazy or corrupt? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30, 2012 @09:39AM (#41177627)

    I once owned a computer repair store. I got a call from the bank, my account had been frozen and all assets drained by the IRS. No notice, no call, nothing.
    The IRS claimed I owed taxes. I did not, I didn't even make close to enough to owe the amount they took. Three months later, it was found the IRS made a mistake. Did I get my money back? No. They refuse to refund me the money they STOLE, even after they admitted making a mistake. They offered a tax credit. Which did me no good as I was forced to shut the store down later that year. The government thinks nothing of destroying small businesses.

  • Why not? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jdev ( 227251 ) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @09:49AM (#41177695)
    The U.S. government makes an even more bold claim than that. They have argued with Megaupload that the government can continue to seize their servers even if the case is dismissed []. I'm halfway surprised that the government bothered to drop the charges against Rojadirecta since they feel they can keep cases like this in limbo indefinitely without any consequences.
  • by Inda ( 580031 ) <> on Thursday August 30, 2012 @09:53AM (#41177755) Journal
    What lost money?

    I used Rojadirecta before I found a better site. It was only when my 'better' site didn't stream a game I was after that I looked back to and saw it was down. came to the rescue. I see there is a too. When will these ban-hammer organisations learn? How long have we seen the same processes repeated over and over?

    I don't give a shit about Hollywood or Poptastic music. I do give a shit about my sports.

    If only they'd let me buy the stream on a Saturday afternoon. I only want to watch Tottenham Hotspur play. I cannot afford to travel to the game, even if I could get a ticket - their ground is full most weeks. I can afford a few quid to stream the game.

    I pay for Sky Sports. I'm happy to pay for my sport. Let me give you more money, you fucking idiots.
  • DNS = FAIL (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @10:33AM (#41178149) Journal

    This is one more reason to abandon DNS and make up something a bit more robust. The whole internet seems much more frail than it was supposedly designed to be. Whatever happened to all that 'redundancy' and 'routing around damage' thing? You drop anchor on a single cable and can knock entire countries offline. How convenient is that for our authoritarian friends we so eagerly reelect time after time?

  • by fliptout ( 9217 ) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @12:22PM (#41179477) Homepage

    IANAL, but I think the proper course of action in this case is to sue the US government in their home country. If successful, they could have US assets there frozen and seized.

Someday somebody has got to decide whether the typewriter is the machine, or the person who operates it.