Over the last few months as you know Homeland Security, and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been seizing domains that they claim were either selling fake or knockoff goods, or engaged in the transmission of copyrighted material (including the 84,000 innocent domains that were returned).
Yesterday ICE announced the first arrest.
Bryan McCarthy 32 from Texas, was arrested and has been charged with criminal copyright infringement for “reproduction and distribution” of copyrighted material.
The feds alleged that McCarthy operated a site on one of the seized domains, Channelsurfing.net, where links to external sports streams were listed.
“The thing about my site is we never streamed anything, we always linked from other sites like justin.tv, veetle, vshare.tv, zonein.tv and others,” he told TorrentFreak.com.
“Brian McCarthy allegedly sought to profit by intercepting and then streaming live sporting events, hiding behind the anonymity of the internet to make a quick buck through what is little more than high-tech thievery,” Southern District of New York Attorney Preet Bhara commented.
“This arrest sends a clear message that this office, will vigorously protect valuable intellectual property rights through arrests and domain name seizures,” Bhara added.
“We will continue to investigate illegal streaming of programming on the Internet in an effort to preserve legitimate and creative business interests and deter others from engaging in online piracy,” Homeland Security agent James Hayes said.
According to Torrentfreak.com McCarthy was tracked down through information provided by the domain registrar NameCheap, Google, Paypal, Comcast, and the site’s advertisers. The documents also revealed that he made at least $90,000 from advertisements during the last five years.
If found guilty, McCarthy faces a maximum prison sentence of five years.