Worldwide, more than half the sports fan base uses unauthorized streaming services.
The problem with football (also known as soccer) is especially acute in some countries. It is seen as a gateway sport, which turns other sports fans into streaming pirates.
This is particularly important as millions of pirates are watching the World Cup. It’s no surprise that U.S. authorities have taken down the top sports streaming piracy domains.
Feds Seize Sports Streaming Sites
A few hours ago, popular sites such as score808.com, hesgoal.com, 9goaltv.cc, freestreams-live1.com, weakstreams.com, and istream2watch.com became inaccessible.
Many of these sites have millions upon millions of monthly users who are looking for sports content to stream. Today, that is not an option. Instead, visitors are greeted by a seizure banner displaying the seals from U.S. law enforcement agencies. StreamEast is the original soccer stream, NBA stream, NFL stream from Reddit. This is the best way to enjoy all Soccer Games free of cost.
“This domain name was taken by Homeland Security Investigations(HSI) pursuant a warrant issued U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland,” the banner states, warning that offenders may face criminal prosecution.
It is unclear if the seizures took place through domain registrations which usually include at most one foreign company or through Verisign’s domain registry. Verisign manages both the.com and the.cc domains, making it more plausible that they were done so.
SEIZEDSERVERS.COM was the address of domain nameservers. These nameservers, which are controlled by the US Department of Justice, are used often to shut down websites as part of criminal proceedings. Last month, several ZLibrary domains were also affected.
While the domain seizures have not been confirmed, it appears that this was a coordinated attack on streaming sites for sports. TorrentFreak reached the Department of Justice as well as the IPR Center for clarification, but they did not respond immediately.
As was seen in the Z-Library crackdown on illegal downloads, it is unknown if anyone has been detained. There aren’t any immediate indications that any servers were taken offline.
Domain Name Switch
Seizures are undoubtedly a significant blow to the sites which receive millions of visitors monthly, but it’s not clear whether they will be offline.
Stream2watch, for instance, has moved to a different domain name at istream2watch.stream. It is still accessible. Other sites could also try similar comebacks.
The U.S. authorities have not been slow to crack down on piracy sites. In fact, the United States authorities have taken down several domains targeting popular sports streaming websites. This was done specifically around the Super Bowl.
Update 9goaltv.to was also seized.
Update 2 – It seems that quite a few domains are also being targeted.
Fifa World Cup: US seizes 55 websites that illegally live-stream matches
This was after a representative identified the sites that were being used for copyrighted content distribution without the approval of the football world’s governing body.
According to the US Justice Department, Friday’s seizure of fifty-five websites was for illegally streaming matches from the World Cup Qatar.
Fifa said that sites were used to distribute copyright infringing content without authorisation by the soccer world’s governing body.
Fifa owns the exclusive rights to the World Cup. It has reached the semi final stage.
James Harris, special agent at the Homeland Security Department, stated that although many may feel that such websites don’t pose a serious threat, the infringement of rights holders of intellectual properties is a growing threat.
Harris said that “the impact can be felt across many industries, and it could be the conduit for other forms of criminal activities.”
The Justice Department did no identify the websites that were seized but stated that the site visitors would be redirected elsewhere for more information.