(CN) – Federal officials on Wednesday said they have seized nine domain names of websites that store or distribute pirated movies and TV programs. “If your business model is movie piracy,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “your story will not have a happy ending.”
The domain names TVShack.net, Movies-links.tv, Filespump.com, Now-movies.com, PlanetMoviez.com, ThePirateCity.org, NinjaVideo.net, NinjaThis.net and zml.com were seized under “Operation in Our Sites,” a new initative aimed at cracking down on Internet piracy.
Federal officials said zml.com is a “cyberlocker,” a site where pirated movies and TV shows can be illegally downloaded. The others host links to websites that store pirated media content, authorities said.
Officials want the domain names forfeited.
Warrants for the seizures were issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis and unsealed Wednesday. Traffic to the sites will be redirected to a banner notifying users that the domain names have been seized in connection with criminal copyright violations.
“Criminal copyright infringement occurs on a massive scale over the Internet, and reportedly results in billions of dollars in losses to the U.S. economy,” Bharara said in a statement. “That translates into lost jobs and real hardships for ordinary working people.”