Taking a page out of the FBI book on crime fighting, the trade groups for some of the top entertainment sectors released for the first time a list of the most "notorious sites."
The International Anti-Piracy Caucus, a group of lawmakers that works closely with the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America and a lobbying group for the software industry, named six Web sites that have made themselves infamous for being "overwhelmingly used for the global exchange of illegal movies, music and other copyrighted works." The sites were named Wednesday at a congressional caucus in Washington, D.C.
The six were China's Baidu, Canada's IsoHunt, Ukraine's Mp3fiesta, Germany's RapidShare, Luxembourg's RMX4U.com, and Sweden's The Pirate Bay.
The sites were listed in alphabetical order according to the name of their country but there's little question which site would be the entertainment industry's public enemy No. 1. The Pirate Bay is among the oldest and most popular of any of the sites listed, but the film and music industries say the site has cost them millions in lost revenue and thousands of jobs. They say The Pirate Bay and the other five sites listed are nothing but outlaws that line their pockets with money that rightfully belongs to filmmakers, actors, musicians, songwriters, and lots of other creators.
Nonetheless, the site's operators have successfully fended off numerous attempts by copyright owners, and authorities in Sweden and the United States to shut it down.
On Monday, The Pirate Bay went dark after German authorities pressured the company's former Internet host to cut off service. As it has done on at least two other occasions, The Pirate Bay on Tuesday re-emerged to the digital cheers from file sharers.
It was J. Edgar Hoover, the longtime and highly controversial former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who's credited with creating the FBI's Most Wanted List. Circulated to the media, the list would feature the people who agency leaders considered the biggest threat to the public. It has been a staple of crime fighting for decades and a successful TV show was modeled after it.
Besides the new list of notorious Web sites, the congressional group released its list of countries with inadequate intellectual-property protections: China, Russia, Mexico, Canada, and Spain.
Mitch Bainwol, the RIAA's chairman and CEO, noted that the copyright community has posted some recent successes in antipiracy efforts and cited the court victory over the company behind file-sharing service LimeWire, which Bainwol called the country's "most significant theft machine." A federal court judge last week granted summary judgment for the RIAA in its copyright complaint against LimeWire and legal experts say that it is likely the decision will mean a shut-down of the service.
"While it took some time for the judicial process to work," Bainwol said in a statement, "we did see that in a nation of laws, those who set up elegant schemes to profit from theft will be stopped."
Correction 9:35 a.m. PDT: This story incorrectly identified the former director of the FBI. His name is J. Edgar Hoover.