Pinned for criminal copyright infringement

CHRIS DOUCETTE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:38 PM ET

TORONTO - Ever stumbled across mixed martial arts websites that offer the next UFC pay-per-view for free?

Well for those who have been wondering, yes, those sights are illegal.

Brian McCarthy, the alleged operator of channelsurfing.net, one of the most popular such sites, was arrested Thursday and charged federally for criminal copyright infringement.

He is accused of streaming live sporting events and other programs over the Internet, U.S. attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

It’s believed the accused sold advertising on the website and made well over $90,000 since registering the domain name in 2005.

“Brian McCarthy allegedly hid behind the anonymity of the Internet to make a quick buck through what is little more than high-tech thievery,” Bharara said.

“This arrest should make clear that this office, working with its partners at ICE-HSI (Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations), will vigorously protect valuable intellectual property rights not only through domain name seizures, but also where appropriate through arrests.”

Before the domain name, channelsurfing.net, was seized in February, it allegedly streamed pirated telecasts of sporting events hosted by the UFC, WWE, NHL, NBA and NFL.

McCarthy, 32, who allegedly operated the website from his home in Texas, faces a maximum of five years in prison.


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