Feds Arrest Operator of Web Site Accused of Pirating Live Streams of Copyrighted Sporting Events

Copyright March 4th, 2011

, BroadbandBreakfast.com

Federal authorities on Thursday followed up their previous technical attempt to curtail online piracy with the confiscation of domain names by arresting a man accused of operating the web site at one of those domains.

Federal authorities are charging Bryan McCarthy, 32, of Deer Park, Texas, of pirating live streams of sporting events and pay-per-view programs at channelsurfing.net.

The feds said Thursday that a Homeland Security investigation found that McCarthy made more than $90,000 in profits from online merchants who paid to advertise on the site.

Channelsurfing.net was an online portal to pirated telecasts of games owned by the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, World Wrestling Entertainment and Ultimate Fighting Championship, according to the criminal complaint unsealed Thursday in a federal district court in New York.

If convicted, McCarthy faces a maximum prison sentence of five years.

“This arrest sends a clear message that this office, working with its partners at HSI, will vigorously protect valuable intellectual property rights through arrests and domain name seizures,” said Preet Bhara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Separately, Michael Uszakow, a 46-year-old man in Houston, Texas who was convicted of participating in a conspiracy to pirate software online, was sentenced Thursday to two years of probation and ordered to pay a fine of $2,000.

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