LOS ANGELES (Dec. 1, 2010) - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), Directors Guild of America (DGA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada (IATSE) and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) today released the following statement:
“We strongly support the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in seizing the Web domain names of 82 illegal websites selling counterfeit goods, including the protected works of our members.
“Rampant digital theft – including films, television programs and sound recordings – is a threat not only to our members’ livelihood and the entertainment industry, but also to the United States economy.
“The actions taken by ICE in ‘Operation in Our Sites II’ to shutter websites selling counterfeit materials further advances a worldwide effort to stop digital theft. Without action, online theft will continue unabated and grow easier with every click of a mouse.
“It is important to recognize that the appropriate legal processes were followed by law enforcement in shutting down these criminal websites. By executing court-ordered warrants, ICE ensured that the seizures were properly conducted under the law.
“We believe the operators of these sites know they are in violation of the law, but continue with their illegal websites without regard to the thousands they are hurting financially. It is our hope that actions like ‘Operation in Our Sites II’ will act as a deterrent to those websites still up and running offering counterfeited goods, and that they will choose to shut down rather than face the same fate.”