Internet Movie Pirates: Crackdown

By Posted 1 Jul 2010, 17:52

U.S. authorities moved in today by ripping down 9 separate internet movie websites from the internet due to offering the illegal downloading and viewing of movies currently in theaters.

The domain names of the nine internet movie pirates were seized along with all bank, PayPal and advertising accounts associated with them in an operation called “Operation in Our Sites.”

Amongst the websites that have been shutdown are tvshack.net, movies-link.tv, filespump.com, now-movies.com, planetmoviez.com, thepiratecity.org, zml.com, NinjaVideo.net and NinjaThis.net.

Movie-Links.tv, which hosted some of the latest movies on show including “Sex and the City 2,” “The Karate Kid,” “Toy Story 3,” and “Splice” was one of the most visited websites in the internet world with around 3.3 million visitors every month.

The Manhatten U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said “If your business model is movie piracy, your story will not have a happy ending.” Whether or not this will stop movie piracy from happening altogether is another story.

Do you think that the U.S. authorities were right to shut down the internet movie pirates? Will it encourage you to go and pay to watch a movie at the theater? Join in with the debate in the comments section below.

Source: Independent / NY Daily News

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  • edward wide dick

    As long as there is "freedom", there will be people giving away those things with no physical value. Unfortunately you can't own INFORMATION. ,and Fortunately it would take a near miracle for this to make one ounce of difference in me downloading whatever i want and never having anything to worry about. I will never pay for tv or movies. NEVER.

    • Jace Kay

      That's just plain incorrect. Of course these things have a physical value. You can't own information? Mate you need to get your head screwed on.

  • Isaac Wilson

    ninjavideo.net was awesome their was no need to shut it down because their are thousnads more out there which they can't shut down, and when they are more will spring up in their place.

    • Ali

      I agree, Ninjavideo.net is the best video website, Im addicted to their documentary section….I mean movies, and tv shows can be found anywhere. not necessarily easy to find a website that streams in such high quality…but still, u can watch em some place else…but to see such a huge collection of educational documentaries, is just a shame..

      • mumin

        so true.
        i hear you.

  • wtf

    the government is retarded

  • Simon

    I watch TV online because it is convenient, immediate, and minimal advertisements. If there was a legitimate alternative available, even one with a reasonable monthly fee I would use it. But there isn't, because many studios and providers refuse to modify their business models to allow it. So I will continue to use "pirated" TV until they get there act together enough to provide me with a decent alternative at a reasonable price.

  • Anon

    Just shut down the internet. Problem solved!

  • scott

    kind of upset about ninjavideo.net to be honest. They hosted TV that was not available in the UK for viewing at all. being that it was not available other than online by websites such as ninja i didn't and still don't consider anyone who has used the website for that purpose to be a pirate. sure they may not have paid for it but if its not going to be made available to them anyway then why not take it from where it is available?

    • http://ninjavideo.net NinjaFan

      true, it's almost discrimination if you think about it that certain people do not get the opportunity to watch movies/tv shows just because they happen to be living in a different country than America.

  • Stephanie

    I totally agree with Scott. I am an American living in the UK and Ninjavideo.net allowed me to keep up with my favorite shows. If I could go to Hulu or other network sites to watch the shows I would be happy to do that, but they have them blocked from international access. I am so sad.

    • Ryan T

      There are so many more sites with the same content… some googling the right words will get your favourite shows back in your grasp. Also you could try using a proxy server which makes the site think your computer is in another part of the world… these can be found on-line too

      • tvtraveler

        HELP!! how do I get to watch USA shows abroad? cannot find sites which do not want you to complete dumb surveys everytime you want to watch something and even then do not work. How do I use a proxy server??

    • tvtraveler

      I live in the USA and I pay $150 a month to my cable TV, which is insane in itself (this does not include any premium movie channels). When I travel abroad I like to watch USA TV on my computer. I wish the USA networks broadcasted their TV shown online abroad as well. Ninja Video solved that problem. Any other web sites which will enable me to watch TV abroad? HELP!!!!!

  • Ryan T

    There will always be somewhere to view the files Ninjavideo and co had available, so Im not bothered in that sense. What does bother me is the amount of money it costs in this economical climate to take a family to the cinema to watch a movie or even to rent a dvd only to find the film rushed and over-hyped in the first place.

    Pirating movies has always happened and will always happen…. And I for one am just going to a site I know to watch movie right now and have a little giggle at the fact its free.

    Lets be honest anyway…. it's not as if any movie stars or Hollywood bigwigs are going hungry because we are watching a copy of Toy Story 3…

    • Karen

      Please emil me with information

  • Jon

    I’m with Scott on this one; losing ninjavideo is a real wrench. Where else can I get my House fix? Oh, and ‘evaluating’ the new film releases :) Guess I’ll have to torrent them and up my anti-virus/spyware levels. Democracy at work people:).

    Sad times though- thanks Ameri-twunts

    • tvtraveler

      ANy advise on where to watch USA tv online while abroad would be great!

  • Jon

    Should apologise for the whole ‘twunt’ thing- lived in USA for 4 years, and found them, on the whole, to be perfectly lovely people :)

  • mikey

    i dont watch bootlegs cuz they are usually really bad quality and ruins the experience for me

    HOWEVER, i do watch TV online because i dont enjoy having restrictions on when i want to watch a tv show. thats bull to me. i should be able to watch tv shows whenever i want.

    • Matty

      Then get Sky+ or Tivo ya wanker

  • mikey

    i dont watch bootlegs cuz they are usually really bad quality and ruins the experience for me

    • Jovy

      So get Sky+ or Tivo.

  • justicejoe

    Phara would be so happy to see that out of all the sites closed we only miss ninja. and i really do think its disgusting how the U.S. is using law to bully the poor locally and internationally. they take our jobs, and homes and now no media. there system is corrupt the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. the government is way more piratey then the community that watches tv online. greedy American politicians push abusive authority to benefit the rich.

    • Max

      Amen to that!

  • Duane

    that's because it really was the best movie/tv site i've ever used…i guess the "celebs" can only buy 3 mansions instead of 5 and 4 Hummers instead of 6…and it's not just about th e shows themselves, but the companies that pay assloads of money to have their b/s commercials aired…they're probably most pissed about these sites…they even want to get rid of PVR's because of the ability to skip adverts…seems like any time someone tries to make things better or ezier for ppl to access, some piece f crap throws money @ it…besides live sports, i don't watch anything at all on tv unless it's pvr'd…nobody should be forced to watch commercials, especially the ones for s**t i can't afford…which is something they need, for us to want everything advertised so we will be good employees so we buy all the really useful things like boner pills or the slap chop or swiffers…… i'm not a sheep so i'll never watch commercials on purpose…all the things authorities/government could be focused on, domestically or abroad, and pirated media's still an issue? no wonder most other countries hate us…all these idiots on tv makin mad paper with or withut pirated content and it's still not enough.

  • Duane

    i bet they also h8 the fact that ppl CHOOSE what they wanna watch and when,which pisses off anybody who wants u to have the illusion of choice…and they obviously want to control what u see and when u see it…none of this makes a diff to me as far as my tv/movie habits go…i only started using ninja and i haven't been to a theater in at least 3 yrs…i've been dl'ing media since 2001 and don't plan to stop…can't get a refund on a crappy movie just 'cause it's crappy…ninja was waaaaaay more convenient but there's so many places to get my fix of media…back to torrents for now

  • Ron

    I agree, I don't see a point for them closing these sites, without these sites these movies will not sell. This is the nature of product marketing, it's like, why would I buy something without seeing it, touching it or what's in it. The only reason why these big production movies exist is also distributed internationaly, huge market. We'll see what happens

  • mrborix

    It sawcks. I just Hope that Phara and her merry band are OK and enjoying their freedom.
    What's ICE got to do with any of this I ask?

  • dave

    all the video sites have to do is change their domain and url. its like microsoft and linux

  • anonymus

    diots you cant stop people to do this!!!no body gona pay nothing for it!!! what abouth poor people isnt afordable to pay for seen movies!!!you are doing revolution on people!!! yea thats why are alot criminals and killers because you take candies from kids!!!

  • Space Inspiration

    The government solves nothing by shuting down just a few sights ninja was the best thing ever but no U.S. government wants to shut it down jeez they need to worry more about the other problems in the world like peple starving and dying. Try to do something useful with all that so called power besides worring about something so small. Here's an idea spend some of that money on explorations to other places because the human race is getting to large for one planet think of the possibalities.

  • Sid

    Closing a few sites doesn't stop other sites from doing the same… I watch movies online becuz its convenient, easy, takes less effort… I don't want to be going to the movie theatre for every other movie regardless of whether it is a 1 star or a full star….. closing these sites isn't going to make those of us who do watch online movies start going to theatres – rather this just means we will have to find some other alternative website….which isn't a hard thing considering just how widespread WWW has become.. movies-link was just one..ppl can go to tudou..youku..numerous others..

  • Guestperson

    The government can't stop it. They can throw their weight around and show off by shutting down sites. Yeah it is a shame that people are watching copyrighted material, but it's a bigger shame that families can't afford to go to a nice movie and enjoy themselves without spending a whole weeks paycheck. If movie stars really loved what they did then they wouldn't mind getting paid the same amount as the person who is mowing their lawn for them. Reduce what people have to be paid and you can reduce all around cost to everyone. Secondly there is too much legality involved in this issue. Is the government going to take every single pirate to court and put them on trial. You better build a bigger jail because it's going to take a while, so long in fact that you better start digging holes for the people that are going to be dead before they make their trial date. For every pirate you make an example of 3 take their place and now they aren't going to make the same mistake that one did. Therefore catching them is going to get harder and harder.

    Focus on real issues!! Not the fact that Joey Nobody wants to go home after a long day of work and watch a movie without having to drive 30 mins to the theater and pay $35 after gas, ticket, coke, popcorn, candy.

  • piracypush

    i see a lot of talk about how there are alternatives, but no one is suggesting any? what are they? it took me a while to find ninja and i doubt it will be easily replaced. it is indeed a sad day.

    • rip ninja

      nobody's gonna rat them out on here and risk having them shut down too! its true ninja will be hard to replace but if you do a quick search on the net then there are indeed plenty of alternatives

  • Cam

    how many people watched Avatar online or downloaded it illigally? and it still managed to set box office records?? something is out of wack here. In taking this action the US government only strengthens my resolve to NEVER pay for another movie again.

  • jan

    omg…….life with out ninjavideo……………..f US gov

  • Jay

    I was wondering if anyone knows where these sites were hosted? I am assuming in the US as how can the US feds take the sites over if based in, say, India?

    And an exercise in futility, as I already found a mirror image of movie-links.net. I agree shame about ninja-video. I dont know how much of a difference this kind of action can realistically expect to have on the entertainment industry, since downloading sites abound, and for every one site removed 2 spring back to replace it. I know people who will ONLY watch movies in a cinema, because it is simply the most impressive place to watch. Take "Avatar" movie ok in the net, awesome in theaters. Real movie goers will not be influenced by piracy, pirates will always reappear, so this is bullying and has show effect only.

  • Anon

    I went to the movies and paid my bucks for Avatar, still came home and dowloaded it from Ninja. Then went out and bought it on Blueray, a good movie will always sell. Its all the crap out there, there worried about.

  • guest

    there are so many bad films out there if a good one comes a long i'll buy it on Dvd ninja video saved me a small fortune over the years, make better films and you will make more money easy!!!!

  • Ninja4Ever

    I agree with Cam 10000%. If "piracy" is affecting the profits of the entertainment industry so much then how can a movie released during what is called by every gov in the world the "worst epidemic of internet piracy ever" be the highest grossing movie EVER MADE. Ninjavideo shall be missed, however it will not prevent me from finding the TV shows that I love to watch which are NEVER made available in the UK on TV or DVD.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=710025211 Luke Hughes-Bunger

    I think that closing down individual sites will never curb internet piracy, it just moves it to a different location for a while.

    I think there should be an internet "Tax", or license fee levied to every person with broadband. The higher your speed and download limit, the higher the fee.

    This money would then be divvied up between TV companies, film companies and music producers in proportion to the amount of downloads the content has had.

    That is the only way to end piracy, by compensating companies for it.

    Companies could still 'sell' content, and things like iTunes LP would 'add value', and Fox or ABC or whoever could include "dvd style extras" on their own site to encourage you to watch it on their own sites, but if people just want to watch US TV elsewhere in the world, or add free, or old stuff no longer in circulation or whatever really, will already have paid for it, and won't need to worry.

  • bashy

    awwwwwwwww how do i iknow when all my tv programs are on loved deadliest catch,true blood, whale wars,pretty little liars, bring ninja back sooooooo not fair lol

  • Jay

    @ luke hughes-burger:

    I see where you are coming from, but take me as an example. I need a broadband connection, the faster the better, as I am a musician and do film music and work with people in other countries, and we exchange film snippets, mp3s as well as large video and large audio files. A fast internet is a must. Now, I am not Hans Zimmer, and I dont make a lot of money. So I dont want to pay a higher "tax" for my potential to download pirated movies, when all I am trying to do with my good internet speed is make a living with my own media.

  • http://www.havenvideo.com/viewforum.php?f=85 Christina

    Such a shame I hope they return, Ninjavideo rocked, long live ninja and pirate girls!

  • james stevens

    I think what has happened is ridiculous, the internet was created to share files and media, the reason people use these websites that have been shutdown is because theatres and movie retailers charge too much money and people just cant afford to do it the way the economy is today, people who have low incomes and families to support cant afford to take 4 people to the movies, this should never have happened, its all about the fat cats getting fatter in the movie business and with less people in the theatres means a smaller paycheck for them each month, boo hoo.

  • Rina

    noooooo….why did they take away ninja!!!! :( :(( …that's so not fair..how am I going to live without it? :( …. wait a whole year for US shows to air on UK…nooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!

  • Michael

    Ghana lost their match, and so I was off to trusty Ninjavideo to drown the pain….now im hearing its been shut down???? FML

  • Steve

    Every business that has survived the test of time has had to evolve to do so. But these companies don't want to change, they just want to sue. We live in an on demand society. I want to watch a TV show when it's convenient to me. I don’t download because I want to own the show, I download because I want to watch the show. I should be able to go to a network’s website and watch every episode of a series that’s already aired. They can put ads throughout just as if it was on TV. Currently with PVR I can fast forward through the ads, something I could be prevented from doing if the show was online. So the advertising firms would be getting far more value for money than through the TV. There’s a way to make this work. But all of this takes changing the current model. Something these lazy fat cats don't want to do.

    Another thing that bothers me is that there is an assumption amongst these folks that every download is lost earnings to these companies. Do they really believe that if I couldn’t download something, I’d go and pay for it? No, I’d just do without.

  • Rana

    oh my.. I lived off of Ninja Video!! That site was the best site every invented!

    NO this will not encourage me to pay for movies.

  • dssfa

    it's won't most deffenitely make me go to the cinema! There are THOUSANDS of sites in the Internat where you can do exactly the same thing. Ninjavideo was really good, ecpessially for people who don't live in the US so they don't know when a new episode of a TV show aires.

    And if there is need to shut down sites which offer movies to download then maybe you can just disable this part of the site and let the other parts stay up…

  • chard

    Phara, Wadswerth and the rest of the ninja crew, hope they are all cool. Top bunch of people that made a lot of people happy, I don't have a TV at home, i refuse to pay the licence for 4 channels of crap, i can't even get channel 5 where i am, let alone freeview.
    You will be sorely missed.

  • chard

    Phara, Wadswerth and the rest of the ninja crew, hope they are all cool. Top bunch of people that made a lot of people happy, I don't have a TV at home, i refuse to pay the licence for 4 channels of crap, i can't even get channel 5 where i am, let alone freeview.

  • Davey T

    Was gutted when I discovered Ninja had gone, hopefully Phara and co will reboot it at a later date. It really was a brilliant website, the only media site I find comparable is the BBC's iPlayer, simply as it offers the programs as quickly and without ads.
    I agree that if you really like something, then you'll end up buying it, and like others have said this is a bit of a pointless exercise by the U.S. Gov, when there are plenty of other sources to get the same material. Maybe the broadcasters should take a leaf out of NinjaVideo's book and offer a similar model, when are they going to realise that advertising doesn't work, and having some 30 second footage with quirky music and a couple of people talking absolute mystery-balls will not make me buy your phone/car/burger/hat. Maybe they realise that if people are using it to "evaluate" then that's probably not too great either, judging by the kind of scores appearing on http://www.rottentomatoes.com, follow the link and you'll see that ony 1 of the 15 films reviewed has a "fresh" rating, maybe they need to start thinking about making better films rather than making more money.

  • Drake

    This is stupid, who used Ninjavideo.net for movies? It was all about the TV shows.

    • nico

      LOLOLOL… finally someone said what I was thinking!

  • Feb

    Sad Day good bye Ninjavideo *WAVE*

  • karen

    I want to know if anyone has used the site..now asking for a credit card…they say it's not used

  • Rodney

    The reason why I watch movies online is because the movie theatre is too expensive, I don't have to be in a large room with a bunch of people, I can use my own food at home when they refuse to let me bring my own while charging $15 for a small popcorn and $10 for a small coke.

    If they made a option to watch a movie online and pay a REASONABLE price, then I will.

    As for tv, it should be available freely online. I dont mind a few commercials to see it for free as it always intended to be. And as long as the player being used on it doesnt make the video laggy then go with it.

    I dont want to pay like $60 a month for cable, when I can see it what I want, when I want, and where I want. Thats what people want.

    We want a cheap method that lets us all enjoy on how we do it.

  • darkdevil

    What are we really talking about??? Are we sure that this is about “piracy”???? I’m quite positive that the Film Industry has profited enough during these years from sites like Ninjavideo where a huge variety of films, TV shows, documentaries, etc. were actually being PROMOTED… I believe that it was thanks to sites like Ninjavideo that certain TV shows started to become more popular or gathered more fans at international level, rising blog traffic, publicity and sub-product sales ( t-shirts, caps, posters, etc). BUT, I'm certain that was not enough for the Film Industry… NO! It also needed to have the NINJAVIDEO IDEA. Why??? Because it's evident that the film industry is not capable of crating a site and offering a service as efficient and creative as NINJAVIDEO… Shall we bet that in a few years there will be a “SAMURAIVIDEO” site with the exactly the same characteristics as NINJA's but managed by the wealthiest film industries??? NOT FOR FREE, of course….

  • myriam

    Anybody listening?? We want NINJAVIDEO!!! Somebody finds a solution and let them go on in a legal way….

  • nico

    I'm actually not shocked at all ninja got shut down… It was too good to be true. Also, one might note that they were SUPER RUDE and arrogant about access to their site and posted alot of "tough crap" responses when people complained about getting viruses. I was shocked as to how that basically thought that they were the greatest thing since sliced bread, when they were in fact breaking copyright laws…. Seems like KARMA got the best of them.

  • nico

    also, everyone can go to icefilms.info and watch even MORE than you could on ninja… or is that supposed to be a secret now?!?!?!

  • serdar

    what is wrong with the us they know it want stop pirating and they do it anyway what do they gain out of this

  • Sword

    NinjaVideo.net will be missed for sure, but it is only a matter of time before another site becomes available again.

    TVShack.net is already back again at TVShack.cc and so far it seems a decent alternative, but the quality of the links on that site are not nearly as good or convenient as the NinjaVideo.net site.

    There are still excellent underground BitTorrent sites to grab early, high quality copies of movies, but it's still not as convenient as streaming them, especially if your internet connection is not very fast.

    I see this act as a decent temporary blow to the piracy scene, but in the long term I don't think it will have a huge impact. I think this will only cause further frustration against the government and encourage others to put up new sites.

  • Sword

    I paid and watched Avatar in 3D at the theater. Going to a theater is expensive, and if I'm going to pay a premium price, I want to at least watch a "good/premium" movie.

    Good movies will encourage people to go to a theater for a premium experience. But, I'm not going to pay a theater a premium price to go watch an average or low budget film. I will take a chance with a potentially poor movie if it is free, but even if the free option is not available, I still won't watch it at a theater and potentially waste my money on a movie where all the good scenes were in the trailer.

    I don't think bringing these sites down will have a reasonable impact on sales. Most of the people who watch these videos online are the same people who would be unlikely to pay theater pricing (Unless it was a spectacular film, which is rare these days).

  • F**k the goverment

    like most of you on here i used ninja 2 watch tv 1) i work nights and dont get time to see my fav shows and 2) i hate fucking ads ninja gave me the freedom to watch wat i wanted, ok they could only put the shows up when they were aired but that didnt mean that i had to watch it on that day. its fucking bollocks has the goverment got nothing better to do GO CATCH A PROPPER CRIMINAL, heres an idea you want to stop pirated makes it cheaper to view this stuff, going to the cinama is a rip off and pay per view channels are just the same.can you really blame us. you say you do it for the love of acting or making the film and slap £10 price tag to watch a 2hr movie bullshit

  • Karnal Skylz Adcock

    Ok. imma say this real simple. FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES! LOOK IT UP! IT SHOULDNT BE ILLEGAL TO DO THIS SHIT! ITS OUR CONSTITUNTIONAL RIGHT TO DO WAHT EVA THA FUK WE WANT!

    Speaking of, anyone ever watch the movie Hackers?

    And if someone could message me on facebook, my name is Karnal Skylz Adcock… or yahoo messenger, which is Dragongrotto…. I would very much appreciate it if you could send me a link to a site that HASNT been shut down, becuase I was a longime user of ninja and piratecity.. and its depressing that i ddont have them

  • Bobano

    Well, movie piracy is a crime and crime should be prevented and busted. Say it aloud "I'm a a thief, because i steal movies". It's truth, isn't it? Accept the truth. I had. I know when i am commiting a crime, i watched hundreds of movies without paying. But if they weren't available online, I still wouldn't go to cinema and pay for them. And the reason is that most of the movies are not worth it. So many times have I told to myself: what a crappy movie it was, i'm so glad i haven't paid for watching this. And that's the main reason I do it. (JFYI I have dozens of DVD of shows and movies I realy like, and yes, I've bought them and I'm glad I paid for them, to support more quality movies).

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