The Department of Justice (DOJ) shut down on Friday, Sept. 11, the website of ShareBeast, dubbed the largest U.S.-based music file-sharing website. Now, previous users who wish to open the site are greeted with the anti-piracy logo of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), saying the site's domain has been seized.
According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the move to take down ShareBeast.com is part of the government and RIAA's aim to fight against file-sharing.
Media reports say that the file-sharing site had bragged about hosting the upcoming album of Kanye West, SWISH. This was after an alleged leak of the album in May. Additionally, ShareBeast also reportedly hosted thousands of copies of newly available tracks from big artists in the music industry, with the likes of Drake, Big Sean, A$AP Rocky, Lil Wayne, and more.
In a report shared by RIAA, ShareBeast.com housed around 100,000 unauthorized files before it was shut down by authorities.
"This domain name has been seized by the FBI—Federal Bureau of Investigation pursuant to a seizure warrant issued by a United States District Court under the authority of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 981 and 2323," stated the notice that appears upon accessing the site.
On the RIAA website, Cary Sherman, chairman and CEO of the association, stated that the action of the government is a big victory for the music industry and legitimate music providers.
"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," said Sherman. "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."
The website was once reported to host streams of the 2014 World Cup. In fact, FIFA and its partners requested authorities block ShareBeast, along with other similar sites.
Meanwhile, other sites related to ShareBeast.com have also been shut down by the government and now show the same notice as the one on ShareBeast. These websites include: albumjams.com and mp3pet.com.