For the third straight year, Feds have swarmed and seized websites selling counterfeit merchandise on Cyber Monday. The bust involved a coordinated and concerted effort between the United States, Belgium, Denmark, France, Romania, the United Kingdom. Federal law enforcement officials made undercover purchases on the suspected websites, purchasing items such as sports jerseys, DVD players, clothing, and jewelry, and then took the items to copyright holders to confirm whether or not they were officially authorized merchandise. If the purchased items were unauthorized, court orders to shut down the sites were obtained. When Cyber Monday rolled around, officials from all over the world worked quickly to shut down the sites replacing their content with banners informing users of the seizure and warning them that copyright infringement is a federal crime.
The crackdown, named “Cyber Monday 3,” is part of ICE’s Operation In Our Sites, a program that has now seized a total of 1,630 alleged pirate sites.