US Government seemingly blunders in takedown farce

January 2012


An attempt by the US Department of Homeland Security to take down an alleged infringing hip-hop website has become somewhat of an embarrassment according to CNET. The US Government officials initially trumpeted the seizure of the music blog,  and 81 others as an example of the law prevailing over pirates. Attorney General Eric Holder warned at the time that “intellectual property crimes are not victimless,” and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director John Morton proclaimed that “today, we turn the tables on these Internet thieves.” But problems became apparent when Dajaz1’s editor, who’s known as Splash, showed The New York Times e-mail messages from record label employees sending him unreleased songs. ICE had claimed that the music was “unauthorized.” Things went from bad to worse when ICE then apparently pressed to keep all matters confidential, filing all the court documents under seal. Attorney Andrew Bridges whi represents Dajaz1 said “They kept getting extension after extension from the court under seal without showing me any papers whatsoever,”

The RIAA remains convinced the site was infringing saying that ‘for a year and a half we monitored the site where its operators had uploaded content to unauthorized file sharing services where the recordings could be freely downloaded …. Dajaz1 profited from its reputation for providing links to pre-release copies …. and 2300 linked to the site were removed from [other] various file sharing services.”

The site now says it hopes to return “shortly”.

More on this from the EFF here and here and CNET here

No Comments

Comments are closed.