This year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) launched a global initiative against hackers who illegally acquire, copy, and distribute copyrighted music, movies, and games over the web called Operation Site Down. Investigators are focusing on individuals who are the "first providers" of copyrighted works to the "warez underground".
Overall, Operation Site Down has resulted in over 200 search warrants in fifteen countries. Last month, FBI raids led to the arrests of four people in San Jose, California.
Today, eight individuals were arraigned in Charlotte, North Carolina. Each was charged with either copyright infringement or conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement.
The Department of Justice explains that "software or movies are easily and cheaply converted to optical discs and distributed throughout the world from factories in Asia and elsewhere. Spammers regularly advertise cheap software that can be downloaded from websites or shipped from overseas, usually bearing the signature mark of the warez group that released it."