“Operation 404” Takes Down Three US-Based Brazilian Pirate Platforms

By Bill Toulas / November 6, 2020

The U.S. law enforcement authorities have worked together with Brazilian investigators in a pirate-crackdown action they call “Operation 404.” The coordinated operation aimed to seize three domains that offered thousands of pirated TV shows and movies to subscribers and non-paying members, incurring millions of USD in losses to American companies.

The three domains that are mentioned in the seizure warrants are “megatorrentshd.biz,” “comandotorrentshd.tv,” and “blud.tv.” These three offered free access to copyrighted content to internet users from all around the world.

In several cases, the particular websites uploaded films that hadn’t been officially released yet. All of them are now in the hands of the law enforcement authorities and display the following message to the visitors:

In terms of size, MegatorrentsHD offered 1,680 movies and 336 TV shows, ComandotorrentsHD offered 1,240 films, and Blud.TV had 9,380 titles in its database. It is clear that these websites weren’t huge platforms, but they offered curated content that was relatively rare to find elsewhere, especially for free.

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The Brazilian “Secretariat of Integrated Operations” followed the activities of the admins of these websites closely and managed to figure out that they are based in the United States. Derek Benner, Executive Associate Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), has made the following statement on the seizure of the pirate domains:

Illegal streaming is not a victimless crime. It harms the content creators of the shows that you know and love, and feeds a criminal enterprise whose profits support organized criminal endeavors. Now more than ever, the partnerships between the creative industry and law enforcement agencies are essential to combat digital piracy and protect consumers. The collaborative nature of this investigation is representative of the ongoing work HSI conducts with its international law enforcement partners to proactively identify, target and investigate individuals who violate U.S. intellectual property rights laws.

There’s no mention of the domains’ owners, so we guess that the operators are still free and anonymous. This means that they could set up new domains and continue their unlawful operation if they dare to take the risk. The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center and its agents will be looking for follow-ups very closely, so it won’t be a walk in the park for the infringers.

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