There is an old adage in piracy circles suggesting that when one piracy service is shut down, several more appear in their place. This so-called ‘hydra’ analogy is often cited to suggest that enforcement is futile but that doesn’t deter anti-piracy groups.
In particular, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, the global coalition featuring some of the world’s most powerful movie, TV show and content distribution companies, is continuing its quest to shut down as many unlicensed streaming services as it can. As result, new casualties are reported almost every week and sometimes several at a time. The past week runs true to form.
ACE Shuts Down IPTV Provider Iconic Streams
ACE has the stated aim of protecting the legal marketplace for movies and TV shows and as a result, regularly targets illicit IPTV providers. Around a week ago the domain Iconicstreams.com was taken over by the Motion Picture Association, a sure indicator that the supplier had been targeted. Enforcement action has now been confirmed.
“Iconic Streams offered over 3,500 channels, with a specific focus on premium sports channels. After successful outreach and action executed by ACE with the service’s operator in Dresden, the service has not been available to consumers since June,” an ACE statement reads.
While the service was reportedly closed a couple of months ago, there are reports online that Iconic Streams continued to sell subscriptions, meaning that some prospective customers were left disappointed. On Trust Pilot, for example, many people accuse the service of taking their money and running.
Several posters also claim that the service has continued to operate at a new domain but at the time of writing, that hasn’t been officially confirmed.
ACE Closes MyTVBoss and EZTV Streaming
In common with the closure of Iconic Streams, the domain for MyTVBoss (mytvboss.com) was also taken over by the Motion Picture Association in recent days. According to ACE, MyTVBoss and EZTV Streaming were popular IPTV providers, operated from the United States.
“MyTVBoss was an IPTV subscription service with 7,000 live channels. ACE outreached directly to the Arkansas-based operator and the service is now offline. All MyTVBoss domains have been transferred to ACE and are now redirecting to the Watch Legally section on the ACE website,” an ACE statement reads.
— MyTvBoss (@MyTvBoss1) February 25, 2020
While the closure of MyTVBoss was apparently actioned in the usual way, it appears that EZTV Streaming was contacted by ACE and decided to close down of its own accord.
“EZTV Streaming was an IPTV subscription service with 3,400 live channels. ACE identified the operators in Alabama and following direct communication, the service went offline,” ACE reveals.
ACE Shutters Flixanity
There are several sites and services using the ‘Flixanity’ branding online today but those that previously operated from flixanity.com, flixanity.mobi, flixanity.in, flixanity.watch, and flixanity.app appear to be no more. ACE says that after a successful operation and communication with the domains’ operators, this particular variant has been shut down.
“Flixanity was a popular streaming site that had been operating since 2015 through various domains,” ACE reports.
“In recent years, the operation was expanded to include several domains that bear names similar to other popular pirate brands to attract more visitors. Over the last year, traffic to the Flixanity-connected sites had grown tenfold with 29 active domains connected to the service.”
Other Domains Seized But Not Directly Confirmed By ACE
Recent searches of domains falling under the control of the Motion Picture Association reveal other entities not directly referenced in ACE announcements. Whether these will be confirmed in due course or were taken as part of other operations is currently unknown. We report here for reference.
Dastreamz appears to have been another unlicensed IPTV provider offering broadly the same services as others operating in the same niche. Publicly known as Double Agent IPTV, the dastreamz.com domain is now Hollywood-controlled along with doubleagensee.com, which appears to have acted as the service’s billing portal.
Other domains seized by the MPA include stremio.app, cyberflix.app and showbox.works. All play on familiar branding so could have been part of the Flixanity seizures, as mentioned by ACE.