9 November 2020CopyrightSarah Morgan

US and Brazil partner to shut down piracy sites

US and Brazilian law enforcement have united as part of ‘Operation 404’ to take down websites allegedly offering thousands of pirated TV shows and films.

The operation, which was led by Brazilian authorities, has already taken down three websites, according to the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

Each of the three domains—,, and—offered “free access to copyrighted content to website visitors all over the world, including released and pre-release feature-length movies and television shows” and were based in the US.

Seizure warrants were executed against the three domain names and the domains are now in the custody of the Brazilian federal government.

Acting assistant attorney general Brian Rabbitt of the DoJ’s criminal division said: “By seizing these domain names, law enforcement has disrupted the unlawful reproduction and distribution of thousands of pirated television shows and movies, while also cutting off the profits to unlawful actors willing to exploit the hard work of others for their own personal gain.”

Operation 404 was coordinated with Brazil’s Secretariat of Integrated Operations at Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security. Phase 1 of the operation began in November last year, resulting in the blocking or suspension of 210 websites.

This time around, the operation has resulted in 25 search and seizure warrants in ten states in Brazil. More than 250 sites and 65 applications have been blocked or suspended.

Brazil is also working with the UK Intellectual Property Office and the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit.

In August this year, US authorities and their counterparts in 18 countries across the globe took down the ‘Sparks Group’, allegedly one of the biggest online piracy networks in the world.

With Europol and Eurojust support, dozens of servers were taken down in North America, Europe and Asia and several of the main suspects were arrested.

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5 August 2020   Levels of illegal piracy have remained largely consistent in the UK during the COVID-19 lockdown, despite an increase in the consumption of digital content, new research has shown.
27 August 2020   The ‘Sparks Group’, allegedly one of the biggest online piracy networks in the world, has been taken down in a coordinated action between US authorities and their counterparts in 18 countries around the world, with Europol and Eurojust support.