So it appears The US government is saying is if you operate a website under a .com or .net and you are subject to US law, even if you live outside the US, your servers are located outside the US and your site is in compliance with local law in the jurisdiction you operate.
The Guardian.co.uk, is quoting the Assistant Deputy Director of The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) saying that not only does ICE plan on continuing to seize Websites and domain names operating on .Com and .Net TLD’s that they believe are breaking US laws, but now they want to extradite the operators of websites operating outside of the US to stand trial for criminal charges in the US.
The story quotes Erik Barnett, ICE’s Assistant Deputy Director saying that website owners that pirate US-made films, TV or other media is a legitimate target for prosecution, whether their servers are based in the US’s or not and whether the website operators are located in the US or not:
Here are the quotes:
“British website owners (for example) could face extradition to the US on piracy charges even if their operation has no connection to America and does something which is most probably legal in the UK.”
“By definition, almost all copyright infringement and trademark violation is transnational. There’s very little purely domestic intellectual property theft”
“The jurisdiction we have over these sites right now really is the use of the domain name registry system in the United States.”
That’s the key.”
“The only necessary “nexus to the US” is a .com or .net web address for which Verisign acts as the official registry operator”
“The general goal of law enforcement is to arrest and prosecute individuals who are committing crimes. ”
“That is our goal, our mission.”
“The idea is to try to prosecute.””
“I’ll give you an analogy. A lot of drug dealing is done by proxy, you rarely give the money to the same person that you get the dope from. I think the question is, are any of these people less culpable?”
“We seized one bank account for one individual running one sports streaming site. He lives with his parents and has no other source of income. He had $500,000 in his bank account.”
“Most of the individuals that we’ve targeted were earning estimated amounts of between $10,000 and $20,000 a month. You’ve got to remember that the overheads are fairly low and your product isn’t being paid for.”
So intention of ICE is quite clear.
If you do business under a .com or .net you are subjecting yourself to having your domain name seized and may possibly face extradition to the US to face criminal charges, even if the website you are operating is perfectly legal under your local law.
Of course there are many countries that would deny extradition for such an offense, but many counties would not block it.
Under this logic there certainly is no reason to stop enforcing US law just to pirated material or copyright infringement.
If your operating any sort of site off a .com or a .net and has material which violates US law you may find yourself in a US courtroom facing criminal charges even if your servers are located offshore, and live in another country and is in compliance with local law.
Basically by operating a site under a .Com or .Net domain name, the Federal government wants to make you subject to US law.
For all those in the United States Happy 4th of July which is also known as Independence Day.