The Federal Bureau of Investigation has seized, and websites involved in pre-release music piracy, stating that the sites are being investigated for criminal copyright infrigement, reports TorrentFreak. It is unclear as to what notices the sites’ operators have received. Note that when we accessed the site on You Broadband, this is the notice we got, indicating that the website was probably already in the ISP’s list of banned websites:


The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) stated that these domains were indulging in distribution of a “massive” library of popular albums and tracks, especially “thousands of songs” which had yet to be officially released. The websites displayed US Department of Justice (DOJ)’s seizure notices last week, noting that immediate domain seizure was necessary in order to stop the copyright infringement.

RIAA stated that ShareBeast was the largest illegal filesharing site in the US. An Alexa report, however, showed that the site’s traffic was modest and was already on the decline for some months. The RIAA added that over 100,000 infringing files were reported for takedown from the site. AlbumJaws, according to Alexa, was not a website which drove significant traffic, given that there were over 8.5 million sites ahead of it in the world currently.

ShareBeast came into the spotlight in May after Kanye West’s next album SWISH was found leaked on the site, before it was officially released. Reportedly, the quality of the recording was so poor that the DJ Booth writer described it as “recorded from a submarine inside someone’s a**hole”. Other than this, the site also reportedly offered pirated TV shows and the illegal streaming of the 2014 World Cup.

Grooveshark’s copyright infringement leading to shut down
In May, online music streaming service Grooveshark shut shop after admitting to not getting licenses from right holders to stream music on its platform. The shutdown was a part of a settlement between Grooveshark and record companies Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment and Grooveshark did not expect to be resurrected.

Megaupload shutdown
In 2012, the FBI shut down Megaupload, one of the most popular and largest file sharing sites. The site’s operators charged with violating piracy laws, while federal prosecutors accused the site of costing copyright holders more than $500 million in lost revenues. Megaupload’s cofounders Kim Dotcom, formerly known as Kim Schmitz, and Mathias Ortmann had been arrested in New Zealand along with 2 other employees. Interestingly, Anonymous, the hackers group, targeted the FBI and US DOJ websites in response.