Federal authorities have seized 55 different websites that were illegally live-streaming World Cup matches.
According to a statement issued Monday from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, Homeland Security Investigations was notified by FIFA, soccer’s governing body, that the sites were “being used to distribute and transmit copyright-infringing content.”
Agents later found that those domains were indeed streaming World Cup games without permission.
Now, visitors hoping to watch the games see a message indicating that the U.S. government has seized that site.
“[Homeland Security Investigations] will continue to focus on removing websites that facilitate digital piracy, and other intellectual property violations, from the internet,” said James C. Harris III, a special agent in charge of HSI Baltimore, in Monday’s statement.
“While many may believe that such websites do not constitute serious threats, the infringement upon rights holders of any intellectual property is a growing threat to our economic viability. The impact can be felt across multiple industries, and it can be the conduit to other forms of criminal activity.”