• U.S. Gov’t Seizes Popular Rap Websites In Online Piracy War

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    New York — Thanksgiving Day had barely begun when Kevin Hofman’s BlackBerry buzzed. It was one of the technical operators of OnSmash.com, Mr. Hofman’s popular hip-hop blog, telling him that the site had gone mysteriously blank just after midnight.

    “At first I thought it was hackers,” Mr. Hofman said. But within hours a notice went up on the site saying that its domain name had been seized by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit of the Department of Homeland Security; it was one of dozens of sites shut down, accused of copyright infringement and selling counterfeit goods.

    But Mr. Hofman, a brawny Long Islander in his early 30s who formerly worked for a major record label, does not think of himself as a pirate.

    OnSmash.com and the handful of other music blogs shut down by the government post brand-new songs and videos without licenses, but much of that material is often leaked to them by managers, music labels and even the artists themselves.

    Read more at NYTimes


    Why is homeland security shutting down hip-hop websites?

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