nine BitTorrent websites currently caught up in 'Operation In Our Sites' has
started asking valued users of the site for
monetary donations to be used for legal defense.
As part of the anti-piracy crackdown, the U.S. government seized nine different
domains: TVShack.net, FilesPump.com, Movies-Links.TV, PlanetMoviez.com,
Now-Movies.com, ThePirateCity.org and ZML.com.
All nine sites were registered and operated in the United States -- and several
of them shortly came back online under new names. Fifteen bank and PayPal
accounts were also seized by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Homeland Security Investigations taskforce.
Since NinjaVideo was one of the nine selected for take down, TorrentFreak expects
the U.S. government to try and make an example of all of the sites’
administrators. NinjaVideo never collected membership dues -- like most
popular BitTorrent sites -- but is now asking for member contributions to help
prepare for a mounting legal defense.
Additionally, it appears NinjaVideo has been aware of pending shutdown and
legal notices for some time now. TorrentFreak reportedly discovered several months ago that
U.S. investigators were looking to shutter the site at some point.
"We need you. Our lives, our very freedom depends on this,"
pleads NinjaVideo's operator, Phara. "We can't do it alone. We
have nothing. Nothing at all. They took... everything."
It's not a surprising situation NinjaVideo is in, and I'm sure we'll see other
donation requests from different site operators. I've never donated to
similar causes in the past, nor do I plan on donating to NinjaVideo, but I'm
interested to see how much will be collected.
Despite the high-profile publicity surrounding the site shutdowns, critics say
the current war on piracy will be a useless waste of funds. Supporters
say it’s a step in the right direction against piracy and counterfeiting that
costs copyright holders and manufacturers billions every year.