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U.S. Government Releases Shocking Report: Internet Has Links To Piracy

Cassette Tape with Crossbones

Today the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced the conclusion of the Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets. Sounds serious. The report identifies examples of internet properties and physical marketplaces that are connected with acts of piracy and counterfeiting. Investigation for the report began on October 1, 2010 and complements the recent domain seizures made by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement a.k.a. ICE. We did a post on one particular seizure earlier this month.

ICE in particular has seized over 100 U.S.-based websites in the past 10 months. The seized sites range from those linking to pirated software, music, and the streaming of TV shows and sports (pay-per-view). The general counsel for UFC, Lawrence Epstein, told Bloomberg BusinessWeek that piracy keeps him up at night. Lawrence obviously doesn’t know that you can purchase Ambien online in 10 keystrokes.

So who are some of these “Notorious Markets”? Here are some of the ones they name in the report:

  • AllOfMP3 (Clones) – Russia’s AllOfMP3.ru hasn’t been operational since 2007 so I don’t know why it’s relevant to include it, but they refer to the AllOfMP3 “clones”.
  • Baidu (baidu.com) – This is Google of China. It trades on the NASDAQ and is the top ranked website in China and ranks top 10 in the world. Why didn’t they just include Google and Yahoo while they were at it?
  • Taobao (taobao.com) – An online marketplace that includes vendors that sell counterfiet goods such as cigarettes, clothes, and sporting goods. Taobao is ranked in the top 15 websites in the world and top 5 in China.
  • ThePirateBay (thepiratebay.org) – A household name when it comes to the indexing BitTorrent files.
  • isoHunt (isohunt.com) – Another BitTorrent indexer. isoHunt is based in Canada. Like TPB it too has been subject to multiple lawsuits.
  • BTJunkie (btjunkie.org) – Yet another site that indexes BitTorrent files for your torrent fix.
  • KickassTorrents (kickasstorrents.com) – Torrent indexer
  • Torrentz (torrentz.eu) – a meta-search engine of multiple torrent sites to fine torrent files
  • Demonoid (demonoid.me) – BitTorrent tracker. Trackers act the the freeway to connect you with other “peers” to transfer the “filez”. What up Transmission!
  • 91.com (91.com) – supposedly responsible for half of the pirated mobile software in China

If you want to read the full report and the other mentioned “Notorious Markets,” go to the USTR website.