Sharebeast, a popular file-hosting site that allowed users to access music and other pirated entertainment materials for free, has had its domain name seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice. In a press release, Cary Sherman, the Chairman and CEO of the RIAA, called the development “a huge win for the music community and legitimate music services.” He went on to add: ”Sharebeast operated with flagrant disregard for the rights of artists and labels while undermining the legal marketplace. 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 sister site,, suffered the same fate.This news comes after the seizures of other popular methods of obtaining free music, such as the torrent giant The Pirate Bay. (Unlike that site, Sharebeast is reported to have been owned and operated by U.S. citizens on U.S. soil.) Government agencies have aided the recording industry since the turn of the century, when peer-to-peer file sharing sites like Napster made pirating readily available to the average consumer. At that time, the RIAA launched a series of wildly unpopular lawsuits against private citizens, often seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars from individuals who had downloaded no more than a dozen songs.