Thursday, December 25, 2014

Targeting pirate merchandise, Feds seize 150 websites

In a crackdown timed for "Cyber Monday," federal law-enforcement agencies said they seized 150 web domains accused of hawking counterfeit goods.

Targeting pirate merchandise, Feds seize 150 websites

In a crackdown timed for "Cyber Monday," federal law-enforcement agencies said they seized 150 web domains accused of hawking counterfeit goods.

An announcement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said:

To mark the official beginning of the online holiday shopping season, known as Cyber Monday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), the Department of Justice and the FBI Washington Field Office have seized 150 website domain names that were illegally selling and distributing counterfeit merchandise.

"For most, the holidays represent a season of good will and giving, but for these criminals, it's the season to lure in unsuspecting holiday shoppers," said ICE Director John Morton. "More and more Americans are doing their holiday shopping online, and they may not realize that purchasing counterfeit goods results in American jobs lost, American business profits stolen and American consumers receiving substandard products. And the ramifications can be even greater because the illicit profits made from these types of illegal ventures often fuel other kinds of organized crime."

"Through this operation we are aggressively targeting those who are selling counterfeit goods for their own personal gain while costing our economy much-needed revenue and jobs," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "Intellectual property crimes harm businesses and consumers, alike, threatening economic opportunity and financial stability, and today we have sent a clear message that the Department will remain ever vigilant in protecting the public's economic welfare and public safety through robust intellectual property enforcement."

You can see the list of seized domains here

Jeff Gelles Inquirer Business Columnist
About this blog

Jeff Gelles, who writes the Inquirer's weekly Consumer 14.0 and Tech Life columns, takes a broad look at the marketplace of goods, services, and ideas.

Reach Jeff at jgelles@phillynews.com.

Jeff Gelles Inquirer Business Columnist
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