U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Thursday that it had seized the domain names of 307 websites as part of “Operation Fake Sweep,” a campaign targeting those selling counterfeit sportswear ahead of the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.
Sixteen of those sites streamed live sporting events over the Internet, including NFL games. The rest allegedly sold counterfeit merchandise.
Visitors to the sites now only see a banner that informs them the domain name was seized by federal authorities because of criminal copyright violations.
Authorities also arrested 28-year-old Yonjo Quiroa of Michigan, who has been charged with one count of criminal infringement of a copyright for operating 16 sites that illegally streamed sporting events. He faces up to five years in prison
The operation was the tenth phase of “Operation In Our Sites,” an ongoing federal campaign against counterfeiting and piracy on the Internet that has already seized a total of 669 domain names.
Last month, the FBI shut down one of the most popular file sharing sites, MegaUpload.com, for alleged copyright infringement.