Movie pirate websites shut down by ICE

The US immigration and customs Enforcement (ICE) has launched an operation that is aimed a internet counterfeiting and piracy called ‘operation in our sites’. This has resulted in the closure of nine websites that were offering illegal movie copies. You can find the names of the websites that were shut down in the press release.


In the first action carried out as part of the initiative, authorities executed seizure warrants against nine domain names of Web sites that were offering first-run movies, often within hours of their theatrical release. Seven of those sites were targeted for seizure by the SDNY. Agents from ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) also seized assets from 15 bank, Paypal, investment and advertising accounts, and executed four residential search warrants in several states.

ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton, joined on a Los Angeles soundstage by senior representatives from major movie studios, entertainment unions and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), made clear that the theft of such intellectual property is a serious crime and one the U.S. government has made a priority combating.

Copyrighted material is known as intellectual property (IP) under the law.

“ICE and our partners at the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center are targeting pirate Web sites run by people who have no respect for creativity and innovation,” said ICE Assistant Secretary Morton, who was in Southern California to meet with the leaders of the movie industry. “We are dedicated to protecting the jobs, the income and the tax revenue that disappear when organized criminals traffic in stolen movies for their own profit.”

“Criminal copyright infringement occurs on a massive scale over the Internet, reportedly resulting in billions of dollars in losses to the U.S. economy,” said Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, whose office handled the seizure warrants of seven domain names Wednesday. “That translates into lost jobs and real hardships for ordinary working people. That’s why we took the actions we did. If your business model is movie piracy, your story will not have a happy ending.”

“Content theft online has become increasingly ubiquitous as technology and software improve and access to the Internet increases,” said Mike Robinson, chief of operations, content protection for the MPAA. “We are committed to working with law enforcement to get the illegal choices out of the marketplace and instead focus on continuing to offer more innovative and flexible legal options to consumers to enjoy the movies and TV shows that we all love. The American motion picture and television industry is one of our nation’s most valuable cultural and economic resources. We are grateful to ICE, the Obama Administration, and the federal agencies that have made the protection of intellectual property a priority for the United States.”

“We are facing a dramatic rise in the number of foreign and domestic Web sites that are in the business of making films and television shows – created by our members – available for illegal download or streaming,” said Kathy Garmezy, associate executive director of government and international affairs for the Directors Guild of America. “If left unchecked, this illegal activity threatens the very ability of filmmakers to both earn a living and create the content that is enjoyed by billions around the world.”

“We commend the action of ICE and the IPR Center in striking a significant blow against those who seek to profit from the copyrighted, intellectual property of others,” said Matthew D. Loeb, president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). “Intellectual property is the basis of our modern economy. The stealing of digital content is not a victimless crime; it’s also the theft of tens of thousands of American jobs.”

The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), based in Virginia and managed by ICE, is directing the government’s response to a crime that is estimated to cost American industry billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs every year. Its “Operation In Our Sites” is targeting not only films and music, but other items distributed over the Internet, such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals, software, electronics, games and other products that threaten public health and safety.

The investigation involving SDNY together with the ICE New York Special Agent in Charge and the IPR Center resulted in the seizure warrants for seven domain names: TVSHACK.NET, MOVIES-LINKS.TV, FILESPUMP.COM, NOW-MOVIES.COM, PLANETMOVIEZ.COM, THEPIRATECITY.ORG, and ZML.COM. In an undercover capacity, investigators downloaded various newly released movies from the Web sites and their affiliates, to identify those Web sites that were involved in the distribution of stolen content

Also on Wednesday, as a result of a months-long operation, the IPR Center seized the domain names and Web site content of and, both of which generated revenue from donations and advertising. These sites allowed visitors to stream or download popular television shows and movies. Over the course of the investigation, agents observed links to more than 200 movies and more than 300 television programs on the NinjaVideo site. This investigation resulted in the execution of federal search warrants for their content and domain name at servers in the United States and the Netherlands. HSI agents also executed four residential search warrants in North Carolina, New Jersey, New York and Washington. The case is ongoing.

The IPR Center has united the U.S. government agencies that combat intellectual property theft. In addition to ICE, the partners include: U.S. Customs and Border Protection; the FBI; the Department of Commerce; the Food and Drug Administration; the Postal Inspection Service; the General Services Administration, Office of the Inspector General; the Naval Criminal Investigative Service; the Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the Army Criminal Investigative Division’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit; and the Government of Mexico Tax Administrative Service.

The IPR Center is one of the U.S. government’s key weapons in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy. The IPR Center offers assistance for both law enforcement and the private sector to address the growing transnational threat of counterfeit merchandise. The IPR Center coordinates outreach to U.S. rights holders and conducts domestic and international law enforcement training to stem the growing counterfeiting threat as well as coordinating and directing anti-counterfeiting investigations.

To learn more about the IPR Center go to

 “Image Courtesy of ICE”

















Marco | Editor

Editor at large and founder of a bunch of stockphoto businesses

14 thoughts on “Movie pirate websites shut down by ICE

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  • July 17, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    I’m Canadian, so it doesn’t quite matter to me about what the US does with their money, but I think they’re just totally forgetting some vital points here and wasting their taxpayers money, maybe rather than wasting that money on finding these sites, they should give it to the people who have supposedly lost their jobs over pirating.

    Our family cut our cable because we didn’t feel that spending about $80 a month, or $960 a year, was worth it when we only really watched Discovery, National Geographic, and the odd Fox/CBS show. Really, we just couldn’t afford it.

    After about 1 year of living a great life with no TV, we found Ninjavideo. Which was great! We donated 20 bucks to watch a few TV shows for a few months, because we felt that was fair. We were able to catch up on the shows we liked, and learn of new educational shows we weren’t even offered to watch in Canada. Now that the site is down, we STILL DO NOT HAVE TV, meaning, we still are not contributing towards actors getting paid more money per month! Ninjavideo did NOTHING to prevent us from getting cable or satellite, NOTHING; we didn’t have cable before, and still don’t. So there is NO loss to money from our household, for the few TV shows we did watch. NOT A SINGLE DIME.

    Look, I’m so very sorry that there are celebrities who make in excess of $1-3000 per month, which is what most people make in a month if they’re working a normal job. But once you start making more than 1 million dollars per EPISODE… why in the world would I care if you made another $80 a month from me having cable? How selfish can you get, their are children dying because of a lack of food, people dying of cancer, and you get to make over 1 million dollars a week, ha!?

    If, all of those celebrities put the majority of their money towards real problems, such as world hunger, rebuilding fallen nations, education for underprivileged children, homeless shelters… all of that stuff… if celebrities took a basic salary, no more than $100,000 per year even, and they gave all of their money to those who couldn’t even dream of making that much money in a life time… then, yes, I would feel better about spending $80 a month on cable. But, they don’t, instead they buy chihuahua’s, wigs, Bentleys, get drunk when they’re under aged, give our children bad roll models, flash their ‘junk’ around for the world to see.

    Maybe, there would be some morality in this world, maybe, 12 year old children wouldn’t think it was okay to have sex whenever a boy wants it, and we’d have less teen pregnancy’s? Maybe, those 12 year olds would be aspiring to help others and save the world and be better people, NOT trying to scrape some change to buy some more diapers. I wonder if that has even come close to crossing the Government’s minds?
    Micheal Bay – $125 million
    Steven Spielberg – $85 million
    Ronald Emmerich – $70 million
    James Cameron – $50 million
    Todd Philips – $44 million
    Daniel Radcliffe – $41 million
    Ben Stiller – $40 million
    Tom Hanks – $36 million
    J.J. Abrams – $36 million
    Jerry Bruckheimer – 35.5 million
    Adam Sandler – $31.5 million
    Denzel Washington – $31 million
    Emma Watson – $30 million
    Rupurt Grint – $30 million
    Owen Wilson -$29 million
    Nicolas Cage – $28 million

    Estimated Cost to rebuild Haiti after the earthquake- $14 Billion.

    If ONLY the top grossing 2009 actors could settle for making, $1million per year and donate the rest to hait, they would make a combined $690 million going towards it being rebuilt, it would take only 17 people, 20 years to completely rebuild Haiti. That’s pretty close to 1 person per year, obviously, we start adding in a few more people, maybe top grossing government officials, or hey, the money they wasted on this investigation… it could be rebuilt within the next few years?

    If you took the profit from all of last years movies in the US alone, you get well over 6 Billion Dollars. 6 BILLION!!!!!!!!! Why can’t we ask celebrities to use their savings for a year and donate their profits to a worthy cause, don’t even ask, make it mandatory!? If they did that, I would totally spend $80 a month to fund them! I would be happy, paying taxes if I knew that there was a cap to how much money someone could make! Even if the cap was $1 million! Everything else goes towards fixing the country! Hey, what a smart idea!

    And going to a movie!? HOLY CRAP! It’s roughly $10 a ticket just to get in, and if you want popcorn, it costs about $18 dollars, plus tax. I can go to Walmart, buy a popcorn maker, and popcorn, and 2 movies on Blue-Ray, and it would still be cheaper than one night at the movies for 2 adults! That’s just STUPID!

    I will not support the movie companies any more than buying the odd movie here and there, unless everyone in the industry starts being held accountable for their profits and start doing responsible things with it. Help people who need help, you’re already doing fine, you don’t need an extra few million… When you get to those ‘pearly white gates’ one day, will you be able to proudly say that in your lifetime you made more money than an ENTIRE COUNTRY did in the same lifetime… and you have nothing to show for it but stuff? Just, stuff, insignificant, stuff. When instead you could have saved, literally SAVED the lives of millions of people.

    You people in the movie industry make me sick, you make millions, billions of people around the world literally sick because of how selfish you are. And you government officials that support the movie industry by shutting down sites that people use to watch TV when they can’t afford it, you’re just as retarded as your last president.

    Don’t even question the fact that you will be punished for this one day, whether in this world or the next.

    You are one of the top contributors to the world being as bad as it is today, you lead a nation of teen pregnancy’s, unaffordable birth control, people who die from Aids and Cancers, thoughts of rapes and so much more. You have lead the nation into being the way it is, can’t you see that? Or are you shaking your head saying to yourself I have no idea. Here’s a tip, pull your head out from your butt, take a shower, head yourself down to some country where they’ve got nothing, and live, with their conditions, without your money, and tell me you’re not the most selfish person you know.

    • July 20, 2010 at 4:01 pm

      I’m with you that the movie industry is making no more money from me than when these websites were operational. This recent action may even have a negative affect their business because I know that when I watch something I enjoyed (whether or not I spent money to watch it) I tell people about it! Word of mouth is so much more powerful than a tiny hole in the wall website streaming video.

      So if you don’t mind living with out TV but you don’t mind spending $80 dollars per month under the condition that celebrities donate their income to some charity then why don’t you just take your $80 a month and send it to Hati or some other worth while cause? Because mindlessly complaining about how others spend their money isn’t helping anyone, you can be much more efficient with your time and money if you take some of your own advice =D.

      • August 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm

        Hi there, can’t speak for the commenters but the release is of course fine as it’s a press release. Would be nice if you can provide a linkback in the post, noticed there wasn’t one

    • August 18, 2010 at 6:55 am

      Wow that was an amazing post grace! Anyone who has a blog or some sort of ‘pirating’ website please post that and/or sticky it in your forums!!! I wish the damn movie companies would stop caring so much about money, when they make millions a year! I really don’t need to say much seeing as Grace covered literally everything I can think of, just that I second everything she said!

  • July 17, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    I think it is funny that in the 3rd paragraph of the press release ICE Assistant Secretary Morton (Impressive sounding title ‘eh?) says “ICE and our partners at the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center are targeting pirate Web sites run by people who have no respect for creativity and innovation,”

    I do believe that at one point in time these websites did not exist. That leads me to believe that someone had to be creative and innovative in order for these websites to have come into existence.

  • July 19, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Hmmmm, ICE you say… Aren’t those the people that are supposed to be guarding our borders? Guess the big scary internet is way more of a threat than drugs/criminals (And yes they are criminals the second they step foot on our soil illegally). I <3 where my tax dollars go… Oh yeh thats right… TO THE EFFIN ILLEGALS!

  • July 19, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    The FDA is involved? Why? Was someone selling pork on Ninjavideo without a proper license?

  • July 21, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Thanks to readers coming in from and for the comments here. If there is any way I can facilitate a debate let me know, whether it’s through a group in the community area of this site or otherwise. This site will soon have the opportunity to start your own blog as well. If there is any more news and developments I would also happily post it on this site

  • July 23, 2010 at 3:02 am

    Thank goodness the United States of America isn’t the world. What i mean is…. i can still watch movies online… just with out the community that ninja provided… thanks a bunch ICE <3
    your loving fans….

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  • August 5, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    hi, can´t you switch your url to sth like

    and is that private think tank with that guy, who cheated the specialist with “collateral murder” video at wikileaks involved in this? what was its name, that private company, which is surveillance stuff doing at 4 or so u.s. providers?

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