Focused on the protection of movies and TV shows, it is perpetually engaged in investigations aimed at taking down sites, services, and apps dedicated to infringement. With a focus on illegal streaming, the group – which has many major victories under its belt – now appears to have a new set of targets in its crosshairs.
Applications For DMCA Subpoenas
This week the MPA, whose members form the backbone of ACE, went to court in the United States aiming to discover the identities of the operators of more than two dozen pirate sites. In common with previous efforts, MPA/ACE ascertained that all of the sites use the services of Cloudflare, meaning that with the correct pressure it can force the CDN company to hand over information.
The list of streaming domains targeted is as follows:
Uvod.tv, We-play.tv, Bilutvs.net, Moviesrulz.net, Watchserieshd.tv, Tamilblasters.me, Isaidubb.co, goojara.to, onionflix.me, onionplay.co, ecouchtuner.club, teforo.com, kremok.com, afzor.com, Verpeliculasultra.com, pelismart.com, repelisplus.vip, kerob.xyz, pobreflix.com, Vizer.tv, Filmesonlinegratisbr.com, futemax.gratis and multicanais.com.
These domains (which according to SimilarWeb stats have combined monthly visits of around 75-80 million) suggest an ACE focus on platforms operating in the international space outside the US, including those targeted at Asia and South America. All of the above appear to be streaming platforms, some of them requiring payment, but torrent sites also make an appearance.
In addition to Comandotorrents.org, which is accused of illegally distributing the Warner movie Joker, private torrent site IPTorrents.com also makes the list for offering Mulan and Mortal Kombat. The addition of the tracker is notable since IPTorrents and its sister sites have managed to operate pretty much unhindered for well over a decade and have sizeable user bases.
Personal Identifying Information Sought
“The ACE Members (via the Motion Picture Association, Inc.) are requesting issuance of the attached proposed subpoena that would order Cloudflare, Inc. to disclose the identities, including names, physical addresses, IP addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, payment information, account updates and account histories of the users operating the websites listed,” both DMCA subpoenas read.
“The purpose for which this subpoena is sought is to obtain the identities of the individuals assigned to these websites who have exploited ACE Members’ exclusive rights in their copyrighted motion pictures without their authorization. This information will only be used for the purposes of protecting the rights granted to ACE Members, the motion picture copyright owners, under Title II of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.”
The court was satisfied with the applications and both were signed off this week, meaning that Cloudflare will be required to comply by handing over the requested information. Whether Cloudflare has any meaningful or useful personal data to hand over remains a question but the subpoena requests represent a canary in the coalmine for the sites listed.