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Friday, December 30, 2011

Anti-Piracy for Dummies

Are you a content producer or the holder of copyright you didn't actually create? Are filthy thieving pirates downloading and uploading your content all across the web, driving your gross revenue into the negative? Fear not! Immigration and Customs Enforcement is here to help!

Beginning several years ago, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, in conjunction with the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, now handles copyright and other intellectual property enforcement through Operation In Our Sites. Through this program ICE has the authority to forcibly seize web sites that infringe your copyrights et al, providing critical relief for those besieged by piracy such as you. Once seized, these sites prominently display the ICE et al logos and a brief explanation that the site has been seized. As an example, observe the fate that befell torrent-finder.com for the rampant theft of copyrighted works it harbored.

It's a common misconception that you need to have special government connections, secret backroom deals, or incriminating evidence on politicians to request such a seizure. In fact, this is not true. Any copyright, patent, or trademark holder with a Windows computer may request such a seizure for any legitimate reason, and ICE will rapidly respond, taking the offending site offline with all due haste.

To request such a seizure, simply follow these easy steps:
  1. Log onto your Windows computer with an account with administrator privileges (e.g. the Administrator account)
  2. Open the Run dialog, either through the Start menu or by pressing WINKEY+R
  3. Type in notepad "C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts". If your Windows directory is not "C:\Windows", you will need to substitute the correct path.
  4. For each pirate site you wish to have seized, add the line "74.81.170.110 [site domain name]" to the bottom of the file. For example, to seize TechDirt, a notorious site dedicated to the promotion of piracy and the suppression of the free speech of congressmen and businesses, you would add "74.81.170.110 www.techdirt.com"
  5. Save the file and close Notepad
  6. Wait for your request to be processed by ICE. This typically varies from a few seconds to a day or so. If the sites are still online after several days, you should probably go back and make sure you did not make any mistakes in performing the above procedure.

That's all! Fast. Easy.

With you and ICE working together, we can all look forward to a piracy-free tomorrow!

This post inspired by tsavory.

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