EU Invites Feedback from ‘Pirate Sites’ for Upcoming Watchlist

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The European Commission has launched a new consultation, asking copyright holders to identify problematic sites and services for an update of the Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List. To add some balance, the EU also welcomes feedback from sites and services that were branded piracy havens in the previous edition of the report.

cassette tape pirate musicFollowing the example of the United States, the EU began publishing its very own piracy watchlist a few years ago.

The ‘Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List’ is compiled by the European Commission. Like its U.S equivalent, it relies on stakeholder groups to nominate problematic sites and services for inclusion.

New EU Piracy Watch List

The most recent version of the report was published in late 2022 and the EU is currently soliciting comments from stakeholders for the next release. As in previous years, the focus is on sites and services that are presumably operated from outside the European territory.

“The European Commission services request written contributions from stakeholders identifying online services and physical marketplaces that may fulfil the criteria to be included in the ‘Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List’,” the Commission writes.

Based on previous reports, we can expect that torrent sites, stream-rippers, and pirate streaming sites will make an appearance. The same applies to IPTV services, piracy apps, and bulletproof hosting providers.

Not All ‘Pirates’ are Equal

An overview of all sites and services listed in the latest ‘watchlist’ is available below. Many of these are classic pirate sites with anonymous operators. However, the list also includes companies that categorically deny the ‘piracy’ label and any bad intent often associated with it.

For example, tucked in between pirate portals such as Fmovies and The Pirate Bay, we find the Russian social media platform VK.com and the file-hosting service Mega. These services are run by corporations. They typically cooperate with rightsholders, unlike traditional ‘pirate’ sites.

Mega

To add more balance, the EU now specifically invites companies and services that appeared on the previous list, to share their views on the matter.

“Online service providers and physical marketplace operators appearing in the Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List of 2022 are also invited to submit written contributions in which they present the actions they have taken to address IP infringements on their services or while providing their services,” the Commission notes.

Mega Nuance

While The Pirate Bay is unlikely to submit a serious comment, Mega almost certainly will. When the New Zealand-based company was added to the watchlist in 2022, it wasn’t pleased at all.

At the time, Mega’s executive chairman Stephen Hall said he was disappointed the European Commission didn’t reach out to the company beforehand. If it did, Mega would’ve been happy to explain the measures they take to accommodate copyright holders.

“The inclusion of Mega on the watchlist lacks legitimacy and we refute their findings,” Hall informed TorrentFreak in 2022.

“Unfortunately, the Commission never contacted Mega for clarification or comment so they misunderstand Mega and misrepresent our operations. Mega had no opportunity to correct their misunderstandings,” he added.

Mega undeniably faces copyright challenges, as some users abuse the service to share pirated content. However, the company’s transparency report indicates that it isn’t sitting still; it removes millions of files in response to takedown notices, and has thrown out thousands of repeat infringers.

The company now has the chance to share these nuances with the European Commission, as the consultation is now live.

Mega and other stakeholders have until the 15th of August to submit their comments. The new edition of the ‘Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List’ is scheduled to be published in the second quarter of next year.


Below is an overview of all the sites and services that were listed in the 2022 Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List.

Cyberlockers
– Mega.nz/.io
– Uptobox.com / Uptostream.com
– Rapidgator.net
– Uploaded.net (ul.to, uploaded.to)
– Dbree.org

Stream-Rippers
– Y2mate.com
– Savefrom.net /ssyoutube.com/sfrom.ne
– Flvto.biz and 2conv.com
– Snappea.com

Linking or referring websites
– Fmovies.to (and related domains)
– Seasonvar.ru
– Rlsbb.ru
– Rezka.ag

BitTorrent and P2P Sites
– ThePirateBay.org
– Rarbg.to
– Rutracker.org
– 1337x.to

Unlicensed download sites
– Music-Bazaar.com and Music-Bazaar.mobi
– Sci-hub.tw; sci-hub.cc; sci-hub.ac; sci-hub.bz and others
– Libgen.onl and mirror sites

Piracy Apps
– IPTV Smarters
– Ievpad.com
– Shabakaty

Hosting providers
– DDoS-Guard.net
– Private Layer
– “Amarutu”, also known as Koddos
– AS-Istqservers / Istqserverses (“Istq”)
– HostPalace Web Solution PVT LTD (“Host Palace”)

Unlicensed IPTV services
– BIPTV.best and BestBuyIPTV.store
– King365tv.com / Theking365tv.pro
– VolkaIPTV.com

Social media
– VK.com

Piracy Supporting Services
– 2embed.ru
– Fembed.com

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