The global war on illegal music sharing and copyright infringement is marching on with the US government the latest to clamp down on music piracy.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division has now shut down a number of file sharing sites, reports The New York Times.
This includes the sites onsmash.com, rapgodfathers.com, torrent-finder.com, and dajaz1.com. Those visiting the sites are now met with a message from the division notifying users of the closure.
The heat is set to be turned up on music pirates with a new bill now progressing through Congress in the US called the Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act. This would give the government extra powers to close down sites that are “dedicated to infringing activities.”
The New York Times quotes the owner of one of the closed down sites Torrent Finder as saying the site was shut down without any notice. He added: “My Web site does not even host any torrents or direct-link to them,” adding that he only links to other sites.
Other recent high profile legal attempts to curb music piracy include the Swedish courts’ action against the founders of The Pirate Bay website. This week the founders lost their appeal to escape a prison term and have seen their fine increased from £1.3m to £4.1m.
Earlier this year the UK parliament passed the Digital Economy Bill to curb music piracy. But this is now facing a legal challenge. The High Court has granted permission for two internet service providers BT and TalkTalk to seek a judicial review into the bill. It is argued that the bill was passed without proper scrutiny by the previous Labour government.
In one of the most bizarre recent incidents of copyright infringement Sony was forced to apologise this week after mistakenly taking down a bunch of bedroom recorded demos posted by Deerhunter frontman Brandon Cox under his Atlas Sound moniker.
In a statement Sony said: “The Bradford Cox tracks were mistakenly removed. We have communicated all of this to Bradford Cox and his manager. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
Cox was understandably miffed when the recording behemoth removed Vols 2-4 of his demo series. He posted on his blog: “Apparently Sony Music Owns my bedroom. Feel free to call or email and let them know what you think. I can understand them requesting for me to remove a cover but the only one I can imagine that happening with is Dylan. Which was on Vol. 1. Which was not deleted. I am re-uploading the files now. I’ll put new links in the posts.”