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Feds Go After 6 Websites

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Earlier in the month we brought you news about the FBI going after HTMLcomics.com.  Well now you can add a few more to the list.  ComicBooksFree.com and PlayboyMonthly.com are some of the other sites run by Gregory Steven Hart doing business as Database Engineers Inc. located in Tampa, Florida.

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to order Hart to forfeit his domains due to criminal copyright infringement.

In 2009 the FBI began investigating HTMLcomics.com which received 1.6 million visits per day and had 6,630,021 pages of comic books offered.  Throughout the latter half of 2009 numerous publishers contacted Hart and demanded he cease and desist his actions and take down the copyrighted material.  Hart moved on and founded HTMLmagazines.com which hosted boasted magazines such as Maxim and Playboy.

In April 2010 federal agents searched Hart’s home seizing records including a cease and desist letter, hard drives, computers and DVDs with copyright-protected images.

Publishers 1, Pirates 0

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HTMLcomics.com is in some legal hot water.  The FBI served a warrant on the site and shut down it’s servers.  Alleging copyright infringement, the site was shut down and servers confiscated.  The law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP issued a press release about it and gives some details about the investigation.

The shut down came after a coordinated investigation by the FBI, U.S. Department of Justice, a consortium of comic publishers and their legal counsel, a team of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP attorneys specializing in the areas of intellectual property, publishing and comics, as well as local counsel in Miami.

HTMLcomics.com was to believed to be the largest pirate site for comic books, with 1.6 million visits per day and 6,630,021 pages of comic books offered.

The full press release is below.

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