DOJ drops charges against websites seized for 17 months

The judge ordered two sports-streaming websites to be returned to their owner
  • (IDG News Service)
  • — 29 August, 2012 21:17

The U.S. Department of Justice has dropped its case against two Spanish websites that stream sports events nearly 17 months after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized the sites and shut them down for alleged copyright violations.

In a one-page brief to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the district said his office had dropped the case against Rojadirecta.com and Rojadirecta.org. ICE seized the two sites on Jan. 31, 2011, and the DOJ asked the court to order that Puerto 80 Projects, the owner of the sites, forfeit the sites to the U.S. government.

Judge Paul Crotty agreed on Wednesday to dismiss the case and return the websites to Puerto 80.

Bharara's office offered little explanation for the dismissal, although Puerto 80 had fought the forfeiture. "As a result of certain recent judicial authority involving issues germane to the [case], and in light of the particular circumstances of this litigation, the government now seeks to dismiss its amended forfeiture complaint," Bharara's office wrote in a letter to the judge. "The decision to seek dismissal of this case will best promote judicial economy and serve the interests of justice."

Earlier this month, Puerto 80 filed a court brief pointing to an Aug. 2 ruling by the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which said linking to streaming videos hosted elsewhere on the Internet did not encourage or assist copyright infringement.

Puerto 80 had also argued that a Spanish court had found the websites to be legal. A lawyer for the company wasn't immediately available for comment, nor was a representative of ICE.

The Rojadirecta seizures, along with the yearlong seizure of music site Dajaz1.com, show the problems with ICE's copyright seizure methods, said Sherwin Siy, vice president of legal affairs for digital rights group Public Knowledge.

"It is far too easy for the government to seize domain names and hold them for an extended period even when it is unable to make a sustainable case of infringement," Siy said in an email. "These sorts of abuses are likely to continue until there are adequate safeguards to assure accountability."

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?