U.S., Brazilian Law Enforcement Take Down Piracy Sites in 'Operation 404'

Department of Justice in Washington, DC. - Getty-H 2019
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

The operation targeted websites and apps that streamed TV shows and movies owned by U.S. rightsholders.

U.S. and Brazilian law enforcement agencies have executed an anti-piracy effort dubbed "Operation 404."

The operation, which was led by Brazilian authorities in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice and Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations unit, targeted websites and apps that streamed TV shows and movies owned by U.S. rightsholders.

According to the DOJ, the websites and apps streamed thousands of titles, including films and TV shows that had not yet been released.

The seized domains included megatorrentshd.biz, comandotorrentshd.tv, and bludv.tv, and are now in the custody of the U.S. government.

“Illegal streaming is not a victimless crime,” said Derek Benner, executive associate director for ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations unit in a statement announcing the seizure.  “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.”