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US indies body welcomes piracy site shutdowns

By | Published on Wednesday 1 December 2010

American indie label trade body A2IM has welcomed those moves last week by the US Department Of Homeland Security to shut down a bunch of copyright infringing websites.

As previously reported, the US authority seized the domains of over 70 sites that provided access to illegal downloads or bootleg CDs and merchandise that infringe copyrights or other intellectual property rights. The big shut down was timed to coincide with what is one of the biggest weekends for internet shopping in the US.

The indie label organisation said yesterday: “A2IM applauds the US Department Of Homeland Security investigation division’s seizure of website addresses known for either hosting unauthorised music or films or allowing web searches for unauthorised music and films elsewhere on the internet. A2IM’s independent music label members are small business people from across the United States, who make their living by creating and supporting the music they love”.

It continued: “Now is a critical time for us to speak up. Intellectual property has never been more vital to our national economy and job creation, especially given the state of the manufacturing and service industries in our country. We need to support and protect the creators of intellectual property, and those that invest in that creation, from websites that traffic in music without the permission or approval of the creators of the music, or any compensation to them for their work and investment”.

And it added: “While our members have embraced the internet and the access and direct relationships that it creates between our artists and their fans, that relationship is for legal content with fans that respect the creative process and the investment that creation entails. But without government protections these relations are undermined and the long-run investment in the creative process will be diminished. Government mandated protections from these websites that benefit solely from the illegal usage of creative works are vital first steps toward preserving our industry by helping to defend our members’ businesses and allowing American artists and creators to both earn a living and continue to invest in the creative process”.

As well as bigging up the Department Of Homeland Security’s recent work, A2IM may also be hoping politicians in US Congress are listening, given those proposals to give the US Department Of Justice more powers to shut down copyright infringing websites are currently working their way through the legislature.

Let’s hope the Operation Payback brigade aren’t listening, though. The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry’s website has been down for some time since last week’s appeals court ruling against the founders of The Pirate Bay in Sweden. Various anonymous members of the pro-file-sharing community have again targeted the IFPI’s website with one of their increasingly common and rather tedious Distributed Denial Of Service attacks. Good times.