Just before Thanksgiving 2010, Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized and closed 81 “rogue sites” for sharing and selling counterfeit goods. Same thing happened just before Black Friday this year, but with 150 sites being shuttered. DaJaz1.com, a hip-hop blog, was one of the sites accused and seized in the 2010 raids. The “goods” in question on DaJaz1’s site? Music.
ICE claimed that Dajaz1 was illegally distributing copyrighted music. The problem was that the music wasn’t obtained illegally.
From CNET: “That started to become apparent when DaJaz1's editor, who's known as Splash, showed The New York Times e-mail messages from record label employees sending him unreleased songs. ICE had claimed that the music was ‘unauthorized.’”
Yesterday the government announced that it is abandoning the lawsuit against DaJaz1. The site is back online, but now it sports a video and plea to not let the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) become law. We’ve talked about SOPA on the show and how its opponents think it casts too wide a net over what can be deemed pirated material on websites. And as we told you yesterday, a new, alternative-SOPA bill has just been introduced with bi-partisan support. It’s about to get hot in herre (yes, since you asked, one of the songs that got DaJaz1 in trouble was by Nelly).