The MPAA has informed the U.S. Government about two dozen piracy-promoting websites it would like to be dealt with in the near future. The list includes major torrent sites The Pirate Bay and Kickass.to, file-hosting services such as Uploaded and Putlocker, but also Russia’s popular social network VKontakte. Interestingly, the movie industry group also prematurely reports that Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm has been extradited to Denmark and sentenced for hacking related offenses.
Responding to a request from the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), yesterday the MPAA submitted a new list of “notorious markets.”
In its latest filing the MPAA targets a wide variety of websites which they claim are promoting illegal distribution of movies and TV-shows, with declining incomes and lost jobs in the movie industry as a result.
“Copyright theft is not a victimless crime. The criminals who profit from the most notorious markets throughout the world threaten the very heart of our industry and in doing so they threaten the livelihoods of the people who give it life,” the MPAA writes.
According to the movie industry group, in recent years the piracy landscape has become more fragmented and harder to deal with, as torrent sites, cyberlockers, streaming sites and linking sites continue to gain ground.
“Today the online market has further fragmented and content thieves are taking advantage of new online technologies, with streaming sites and cyberlockers representing a growing share of unlawful conduct.”
“Moreover, a secondary market has arisen in the form of ‘linking sites’, which are professional-looking sites that facilitate content theft by indexing stolen movie and television content hosted on other sites.
Despite these challenges the movie studios are also glad to report one of their recent successes, the takedown of isoHunt.com. Nevertheless, there are still many other sites that remain a problem for the group.
Below is the full list of ‘rogue’ sites and their suspected location as defined by the MPAA in its USTR filing.
BitTorrent / P2P sites:
- ExtraTorrent.com (Ukraine)
- Kickass.to (Canada)
- RuTracker.org (Russia)
- ThePirateBay.sx (Sweden)
- Torrentz.eu (Canada)
- Xunlei.com (China)
- Kuaibo.com (China)
- Extabit.com (Netherlands)
- Netload.in (Germany)
- Nowvideo.sx (Netherlands)
- Putlocker.com (United Kingdom)
- Rapidgator.net (Russia)
- Uploaded.net (Netherlands)
- VK.com (Russia)
- Cuevana.tv (Argentina)
- Primewire.ag (Estonia)
- Filmesonlinegratis.net (Brazil)
- Free-tv-video-online.me (Czech Republic)
- Megafilmeshd.net (Brazil)
- Movie4k.to (Romania)
- Seriesyonkis.com (Spain)
- Solarmovie.eu (Latvia)
- Telona.org (Sweden)
- Yyets.com (China)
- Usenext.com (Germany)
The MPAA provides a short description for every site listed but doesn’t detail why these sites are considered “rogue” while others aren’t. Additionally, some of their other claims are not always accurate.
For example, the MPAA claims that Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm has been extradited to Denmark where he was supposedly sentenced following hacking related charges.
“In 2012, one of the site’s co-founders was found guilty on hacking charges in Sweden after his extradition from Cambodia. He was then extradited to Denmark and sentenced for similar charges in 2013,” MPAA writes.
However, Gottfrid is still in a Swedish prison and filed for an appeal at the Supreme Court this week. He hasn’t even left for Denmark, let alone been tried and sentenced.
Similarly, the MPAA suggests that Pirate Bay’s PirateBrowser is linking to websites that are actually hosted on the Tor network, which is not what it does.
“ThePirateBay.sx promoted its tenth year as an index website by releasing the PirateBrowser, a self-contained portable web browser with preset bookmarks to BitTorrent websites hosted on the TOR network,” MPAA notes.
In a few weeks the US Trade Representative will use the submissions of the MPAA and other interested parties to make up its final list of piracy havens. The U.S. Government will then alert the countries where these sites are operating from, hoping that the local authorities take action.