Cyber Monday Counterfeit Arrests

South Carolina Federal Defense Attorneys

For the past several months, the Federal Government has been cracking down on online counterfeit product sales.  The results of the ongoing investigation were announced on Cyber Monday, revealing that over 350 websites have been seized since June 2010.

Although these knock-off items may be easy on your wallet and look as good as the real thing, willful copyright infringement is a Federal crime.

Immigration and Customs enforcement Director John Morton announced Monday that the government has shut down 150 websites that were accused of selling fake products. Morton views this issue as “a direct threat to American innovation” as well as a public safety issue.

There is also concern that these violations will transpire into more organized crime.

In place of the former site, the seized domains now show a message from the federal authorities indicating that the site has been seized by the government and a warning that “willful copyright infringement is a federal crime.”

Morton and Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said most of the websites are registered in the United States but actually run from abroad, mostly in China. Most recently 150 website domain names were seized though no one has been charged with a crime in connection with these sites.

Five people in Virginia were indicted earlier this year on conspiracy and copyright infringement charges. The Justice Department indicates that the website, NinjaVideo.net, allowed site visitors to illegally download high-quality movies and shows. Four of the five affiliates have pleaded guilty.

Since the domains were seized, Breuer said that Internet users have continued to try and access the seized domains over 77 million times.

Getting arrested for conspiracy does not mean that you are guilty or that you do not have any rights.  If you are arrested on Federal charges in South Carolina, contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation.

By: South Carolina Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Pete Strom