Feds Crack Down on Illegally Streamed Sporting Events

A 19-year-old New York man was arrested yesterday by agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) directorate for allegedly streaming live sporting events over the Internet illegally.

Mohamded Ali, of Hollis, N.Y., was arrested at his home and charged with one count of criminal infringement of a copyright. Ali is the operator of two streaming sites, hq-streams.com and hq-streams.net. Both sites were among 10 for illegally streaming live sporting telecasts and pay-per-view events over the Net.

According to ICE, Ali made more than $6000 in profits from online merchants who paid subscription fees to view copyrighted material.

In a criminal complaint filed against Ali, the government contends that for almost a year (February 2010 to January 2011), Ali used his Internet domains to infringe on copyrighted material from World Wrestling Entertainment, Ultimate Fighting Championship and boxing events for the purposes of commercial advantage and private financial gain.

Subscribers to the services offered by Ali's domains paid fees from $6 to $25 to access links that allowed them to download copyrighted material to their computers or watch such material as streaming video.

Linking sites, like Ali's, provide links to other websites where pirated sporting and pay-per-view events are hosted. Linking sites are popular because they allow users to quickly browse content and locate illegal streams that would otherwise be more difficult to find.