Last week, the Feds shut down nine video sites for piracy and copyright violations. The enforcement was a combined effort by the Department of Justice, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and a the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center under the Department of Homeland Security. It is the new Intellectual Property Police, and they are fighting to save Hollywood.
The press release announcing the online raid included this choice quote from U.S. District Attorney Preet Bharara: “If your business model is movie piracy, your story will not have a happy ending.” The following domains were seized TVshack.net, Movies-Links.tv, FilesPump.com, Now-Movies.com, PlanetMoviez.com, ThePirateCity.org, ZML.com, NinjaVideo.net and NinjaThis.net.
Of course, it only took a few days for at least one of the sites to reappear at a different domain. TVshack.net, for instance, is now at TVshack.cc. There you can watch full streams of bootleg versions of The Twilight Saga:Eclipse (filmed in a theater with people standing up and casting shadows on the screen, see below), Toy Story 3, True Blood, and other movies and TV shows. The .cc domain is administered by the Cocos Islands, which is a territory of Australia. The company is based in Stockholm, Sweden. Another one of the shuttered sites has reappeared at www.watch-movies-tv.info, but it no longer offers streaming movies.
You get what you pay for with these sites. The video quality is predictably awful, and you have to endure pop-up ads for Russian mail-order brides blocking part of the screen. But some people don’t mind. We’ve been noticing spikes to our Crunchbase directory from people looking for info on TV Shack (our Crunchbase entry is the second result on Google). Who wants to guess how long the .cc domain will stay up?