On Friday, the Department of Justice and the RIAA claimed another victory in the never-ending battle against file-sharing when the government agency seized the domain of Sharebeast.com. The site now only displays the notice above, saying the FBI acted “pursuant to a seizure warrant related to suspect criminal copyright infringement.” According to a DOJ release on the initiative, Sharebeast represented the largest US-based file sharing service before it was taken down.
“This is a huge win for the music community and legitimate music services. Sharebeast operated with flagrant disregard for the rights of artists and labels while undermining the legal marketplace,” RIAA Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman said in a statement. “Millions of users accessed songs from Sharebeast each month without one penny of compensation going to countless artists, songwriters, labels, and others who created the music. We are grateful to the FBI and the Department of Justice for its strong stand against Sharebeast and for recognizing that these types of illicit sites wreak major damage on the music community and hinder fans’ legitimate listening options.”
Sharebeast’s related domains including entities like albumjams.com and mp3pet.com (both now offline). The site’s largely inactive Twitter account is littered with old notices about newly available tracks from artists such as Big Sean, Drake, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and A$AP Rocky. Most notably, the site was reportedly hosting Kanye West’s upcoming album SWISH after an alleged leak last May. The DOJ noted that the RIAA alone reported 100,000-plus infringing files to Sharebeast.com without satisfaction.