Yesterday Rapfix.MTV.com and Torrentfreak.com Reported on the Recent seizures getting comments from some of the Site owners, and it seems like both reports are painting a different story. Check what they said after the jump
“Big brother is always watching.
On Friday (November 26), two popular hip-hop blogs, OnSmash and RapGodfathers, were seized by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and Homeland Security Investigations. Both sites appear to be under investigation due to claims of copyright infringement.
In a post dated November 25, RapGodfathers wrote, â€œYesterday, Tuesday November 23, agents from the United States DHS/ICE showed up to RGF’s data-center and seized our servers. During the whole existence of the website, we always honored any DMCA requests but apparently in [the] US people are guilty before proven innocent.â€
DMCA, short for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, is a federal law passed in 1998 that largely made the distribution of copyrighted materialsâ€”read: MP3sâ€”illegal. Remember Napster? The DMCA shut down the original peer-to-peer (P2P) download site.
Whatâ€™s most disturbing in the case of OnSmash and RapGodfathers is that both sites claim to have complied with any DMCA removal requests. In the case of OnSmash specifically, the labels themselves gave the site the song links which OS provided to the public. Nevertheless, both hip-hop music destinations now find their daily updates grounded to a halt, with the possibility of losing their domain names.
While RapGodfathers had their servers seized, Hof of OnSmash relayed that only their domain name has been taken over.
“Nothing other than our domain has been ‘seized’ and I still have yet to receive any official correspondence as to WHY THIS HAPPENED,” Hof wrote.
Since OnSmash is part of the New Music Cartel (NMC), a coalition of influential hip-hop blogs that include NahRight and YouHeardThatNew, do the feds intend on taking down their servers too?
What do you think of Onsmash and RapGodfathers seizures?”
And here is what TorrentFreak Said:
“U.S. Government Seizes BitTorrent Search Engine Domain and More
Written by enigmax on November 26, 2010
Following on the heels of this weekâ€™s domain seizure of a large hiphop file-sharing links forum, itâ€™s clear today that the U.S. Government has been very busy. Without any need for COICA, ICE has just seized the domain of a BitTorrent meta-search engine along with those belonging to other music linking sites and several others which appear to be connected to physical counterfeit goods.
While complex, itâ€™s still possible for U.S. authorities and copyright groups to point at a fully-fledged BitTorrent site with a tracker and say â€œthatâ€™s an infringing site.â€ When one looks at a site which hosts torrents but operates no tracker, the finger pointing becomes quite a bit more difficult.
When a site has no tracker, carries no torrents, lists no copyright works unless someone searches for them and responds just like Google, accusing it of infringement becomes somewhat of a minefield â€“ unless youâ€™re ICE Homeland Security Investigations that is.
This morning, visitors to the Torrent-Finder.com site are greeted with an ominous graphic which indicates that ICE have seized the siteâ€™s domain.
The message below is posted on the seized sites
â€œMy domain has been seized without any previous complaint or notice from any court!â€ the exasperated owner of Torrent-Finder told TorrentFreak this morning.
â€œI firstly had DNS downtime. While I was contacting GoDaddy I noticed the DNS had changed. Godaddy had no idea what was going on and until now they do not understand the situation and they say it was totally from ICANN,â€ he explained.
Aside from the fact that domains are being seized seemingly at will, there is a very serious problem with the action against Torrent-Finder. Not only does the site not host or even link to any torrents whatsoever, it actually only returns searches through embedded iframes which display other sites that are not under the control of the Torrent-Finder owner.
Torrent-Finder remains operational through another URL, Torrent-Finder.info, so feel free to check it out for yourself. The layouts of the sites it searches are clearly visible in the results shown.
Yesterday we reported that the domain of hiphop site RapGodFathers had been seized and today we can reveal that they are not on their own. Two other music sites in the same field â€“ OnSmash.com and DaJaz1.com â€“ have fallen to the same fate. But ICE activities donâ€™t end there.
Several other domains also appear to have been seized including 2009jerseys.com, nfljerseysupply.com, throwbackguy.com, cartoon77.com, lifetimereplicas.com, handbag9.com, handbagcom.com and dvdprostore.com.
All seized sites point to the same message.
Domain seizures coming under the much debated â€˜censorship billâ€™ COICA? Who needs it?
Update: Below is an longer list of domains that were apparently seized. Most of the sites relate to counterfeit goods. We assume that the authorities had a proper warrant for these sites (as they had for RapGodFathers yesterday), but were unable to confirm this.”
What do you guys think, has the gov gone too far, or are they really “Protecting us”??
The Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is seizing domains of BitTorrent sites and sites associated with counterfeit goods. They’re taking over sites without any prior complaints or notifications from the court.Â It’s a little messy because some of the torrent sites ICE has been seizing have no tracker, carry no torrents and list no copyright works unless someone searches for themâ€”they’re search engines, well with a torrent slant, of course, but search engines by definition. These seizures definitely raise questions on what type of criteria the Department of Homeland Security is using and raises a dark cloud over similar, un-seized sites. Don’t forget they Shutdown Limewire, they are not playing now, And We Hope OnSmash makes it through this, but damn!!! Check out the full list of seized sites after the jump!