The bad run of form continues for pirates and pirate sites as now Motion Pictures Association of America has reported several different piracy websites along with piracy services to the United States Government.
After the two major torrent websites, KickassTorrents and TorrentHound, were shut down a couple of months ago, the Motion Pictures Association of America has moved swiftly to dispatch any other remaining big guns in the pirate websites industry too.
This time, the list of proposed to-be-banned websites includes some major torrent sites (or more like the last remaining and useful torrent websites because most of the other piracy websites either don’t get updated that often or are just don’t provide relevant content to pirates) like The Pirate Bay and Extratorrent.
The Motion Pictures Association of America has also gone one step further this time by also reporting file-sharing websites which in many ways are essentially piracy websites. The list of file-sharing sites reported by Motion Pictures Association of America to the United States government include the likes of Rapidgator and Openload as well.
And perhaps for the first time, the people behind Motion Pictures Association of America have also not spared the hosting companies that have been facilitating these piracy websites regardless if they are supporting torrent piracy websites or file-sharing piracy websites.
According to media reports, the Motion Pictures Association of America actually responded to a request that was received by the association from United States Trade Representative. The response was an annual list of the infamous markets that either promoted or supported the activities of pirate websites.
As indicated before, this time, the Motion Pictures Association of America has gone for the most comprehensive route available to get rid of all the major players in the piracy website industry in one fell swoop.
The latest submission from Motion Pictures Association of America, this time, targeted a vast array of defrauder piracy websites and along with file-hosting services which the Motion Pictures Association of America claimed not only assisted in enabling piracy websites to carry out their piracy activities but also promoted the illegal distribution of copyrighted content such as movies and TV-shows to anyone with an internet connection and a willing mind.
The submission from Motion Pictures Association of America also implied that piracy websites and their operations had resulted in declining earnings and lost jobs in the entertainment industry especially the ones related to the movies and TV-shows industry.
The Motion Pictures Association of America wrote in the proposal that the criminals who profited from the most notorious markets throughout the world threatened the very heart of the entertainment industry and in so doing they also jeopardized the livelihoods of the people who gave the entertainment industry its life.
As mentioned earlier, the recommendations from the Motion Pictures Association of America have a stark difference to any previous attempts to ban piracy websites that have, according to the vast majority of the sources in the entertainment industry, wrecked havoc on entertainment industry’s earnings and revenues.
That difference is that, this year, the Motion Pictures Association of America has also called out the various hosting providers that have kept piracy websites’ operating going even in the roughest of times. Apparently, the Motion Pictures Association of America believes that these hosting providing companies are at the very least accomplices to the copyright violation crimes purported by the countless number of torrent and file-sharing piracy websites.
The argument the Motion Pictures Association of America made in its proposal sent to the United States Trade Representative basically says that the file hosting companies did not take action to bring down the piracy websites and actually refused to participate in initiatives to take piracy websites offline following many copyright violation complaints.
To some extent, these file hosting services are to be blamed for the operations of piracy websites because it is rather a well-known fact that the Motion Pictures Association of America considers aiding piracy websites as a blatant violation of the law in the country.
The proposal from the Motion Pictures Association of America also stated that hosting companies provided the essential infrastructure that was required to operate a piracy website and given the central role of hosting providers in the online ecosystem, it was very concerning that many of these hosting providers refused to take action upon being notified of these piracy websites.
The Motion Pictures Association of America took it upon itself to actually name some of the hosting providers in order to bring light to their unsatisfactory behavior as far as cooperation to bring down piracy websites was concerned.
The two file hosting service providers that the Motion Pictures Association of America specifically named in the submission were Netbrella and Private Layer Altushost. These two services were reported to be linked to various countries such as Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, and Panama.
The Content Delivery Network (CDN) provider by the name of CloudFlare was also mentioned in the list of file hosting service providers.
Readers should know that technically, CloudFlare should not be included in the list of file hosting service providers since it is a United States based company.
However, the Motion Pictures Association of America explained that the group listed it as one of the file hosting service providers because it was often utilized as a tool to again anonymity by these piracy websites and file-sharing services that were cited in the report.
Regarding the issue, the report from the Motion Pictures Association of America said that an example of a content delivery network frequently exploited by notorious markets to avoid detection and enforcement was CloudFlare. The submission further stated that CloudFlare was a content delivery network service that also provided reverse proxy functionality and reverse proxy functionality helped piracy websites to hide the real IP address of their web servers.
Again, the Motion Pictures Association of America pointed to, rather fervently, the significant role played by third-party services, such as file hosting service providers, by suggesting that the domain name registrars could also be considered as possible notorious markets.
And just to clear up the matter regarding partners in crime, the Motion Pictures Association of America also provided an example to the United States Trade Representative.
The report from the Motion Pictures Association of America mentioned the Indian Public Domain Registry (PDR) as an accomplice which, the report mentioned, repeatedly dismissed requests to take action against pirate websites.
Of course, that should not obstruct readers from the fact that the Motion Pictures Association of America still considered the piracy websites themselves to be the primary culprits in instigating copyright violations.
In fact, this year the Motion Pictures Association of America actually listed a total of 23 piracy websites, separated by individual categories and suspected location as judged by the Motion Pictures Association of America group.
What About Actual Torrent Sites?
According to the report by the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA), the most popular and widely used source of peer to peer piracy activities was BitTorrent. That was slightly unexpected since the majority of the biggest players in the piracy website industry were already taken down by law enforcement authorities in the past couple of months. As mentioned earlier, the shutdowns included the likes of KickAssTorrents, YTS, and Torrentz.
Historically speaking, The Pirate Bay has been one of the primary targets of most law enforcement authorities. In fact, if the MPAA report is anything to go by then statistics from the likes of SimilarWeb and Alexa (companies that provide commercial web traffic data and analytics) The Pirate Bay is able to attract a whopping 47 million unique visitors every single month of the year.
The MPAA submission to United States Trade Representative also does a decent job of letting the authority know that The Pirate Bay has been at the receiving end of multiple law enforcement actions in the past several years.
MPAA also noted, although incorrectly, that The Pirate Bay was no longer the most viewed piracy website in the world but then added that The Pirate Bay was able to gain a large amount of traction after other piracy websites such as Torrentz and KickassTorrents were shut down in the last couple of months.
The MPAA wrote to the Unites States Trade Representative that while The Pirate Bay had never returned to its number one position, it had experienced a significant comeback after other piracy websites such as KickassTorrents and Torrentez.eu were taken offline in 2016.
And while we’re on the subject of major piracy websites being taken down left and right in 2016, let’s not forget another major piracy website by the name of ExtraTorrent.cc.
It has been revealed that ExtraTorrent is another piracy website that is heavily being targeted by law enforcement agencies to have the honor of being shut down after KickassTorrents and TorrentHound.
As is the case with most other primary piracy websites, ExtraTorrent too offers visitors millions of torrents free of cost and also has an official affiliate program with a VPN service called Trust.Zone VPN.
Trust.Zone VPN regularly advertise their products on ExtraTorrent to attract more customers from one of the world’s most known piracy website.
The submission from MPAA also addressed MPAA’s issues with ExtraTorrent and said that ExtraTorrent.cc claimed astonishing piracy statistics as the piracy website offered almost three million free files with sharing optimized through over 64 million seeders and more than 39 million leechers.
MPAA’s proposal further added that ExtraTorrent’s homepage currently displayed a message that warned users to use a VPN service when downloading torrents in order to ward off any spying agencies and that Extratorrent.cc was in reality affiliated with a VPN service called Trust.Zone.
Here is the complete list of reported piracy websites that engage in file sharing through torrents,
- 1337x.to (based in Switzerland)
- Extratorrent.cc (based in Latvia)
- Rarbg.to (based in Bosnia and Herzegovina)
- Rutracker.org (based in Russia)
- ThePirateBay.org (location unknown)
MPAA Also Listed Websites That Allowed Users To Use Technologies Such As Direct Download And Services Such As Streaming Cyberlockers To Access Copyrighted Content
As mentioned earlier in the article as well, MPAA has made sure to put forward a complete report to United States Trade Representative and nothing indicates that more clearly than the fact that MPAA has gone after another category of piracy websites.
This second category of piracy websites which have been reported by the MPAA include cyberlockers.
MPAA noted that piracy websites that fell into the category of cyberlockers had generated millions of dollars in revenue. The movie industry groups cited a report from Netname to substantiate its claim.
The cyberlocker service in question here goes by the label of Movshare Group. This cyberlocker service apparently manages piracy websites such as Nowvideo.sx, Videoweed.es, Divxstage.to, Nowdownload.ch, Movshare.net, Novamov.com along with many other piracy websites. The MPAA believes that this Movshare Group presents the largest threat there is to copyright material on the internet.
Surprisingly VKontakte, which is considered to be Russia’s Facebook, is also mentioned as a notorious market in MPAA’s submission.
Other cyberlockers reported on the list are:
- Allmyvideos.net (based in the Netherlands)
- Nowvideo.sx along with Movshare Group (based in many different locations)
- Openload.co (based in Netherlands)
- Rapidgator.net (based in Russia)
- Uploaded.net (based in Netherland/Switzerland)
- VK.com (based in Russia)
MPAA Also Did Not Spare Linking Piracy Websites
The final category of sites that MPAA thinks is involved in copyright violation online activities is the linking websites.
Most of the linking websites that give out information regarding pirated content basically concentrate their efforts on foreign audiences.
Just for clarity’s sake, these linking websites do not host the copyrighted content but only link to the location of those files.
Here is the unabridged list of linking websites as communicated by MPAA to United States Trade Representative.
- 123movies.to (location is unknown)
- Filmesonlinegratis.net (based in Brazil/Portugal)
- Kinogo.club (based in Netherlands)
- Movie4k.to (based in Russia)
- Newmovie-hd.com (based in Thailand)
- Pelis24.com (based in Spain/Mexico/Argentina/Venezuela/Peru/Chile)
- Primewire.ag (based in Switzerland)
- Projectfreetv.at (based in Romania)
- Putlocker.is (based in Switzerland/Vietnam)
- Repelis.tv (based in Mexico/Argentina/Spain/Peru/Venezuela)
- Watchseries.ac (based in France)
In the concluding paragraphs of the report, MPAA called on United States Trade Representative along with the United States government at large to assist the Hollywood industry group in combatting piracy websites and their operations either through direct help or by pressurizing foreign countries to join the battle against pirates.
The statement ended with MPAA concluding that the association strongly supported efforts by the United States government to work with trading partners to protect and enforce intellectual property rights and, in so doing, protected United States jobs.