WASHINGTON - A federal grand jury has returned an indictment in Alexandria, Va., charging five individuals with one count of conspiracy and five substantive copyright infringement counts for their involvement with the Internet website NinjaVideo.net. This investigation is being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in conjunction with the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center).
The indictment was announced by ICE Director John Morton; Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department's Criminal Division; and U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride, Eastern District of Virginia.
According to the indictment returned yesterday, the NinjaVideo website operated from February 2008 until it was shut down by law enforcement in June 2010. NinjaVideo allegedly provided millions of website visitors with the ability to illegally download infringing copies of copyright-protected movies and television programs in high-quality formats. Many of the movies offered on the website were still playing in theaters, while others had not yet been released. The website allegedly offered many copyrighted movies and television shows free of charge, and offered access to a greater selection of copyrighted content for a "donation" of at least $25. The website also generated significant revenue through advertising. The defendants allegedly collected more than $500,000 during the website's two-and-a-half years of operation and facilitated the infringement of millions of dollars of copyrighted movies, television programs and software products.
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