The Motion Picture Association (MPA) has been a key player in the anti-piracy fight for decades and this position has only strengthened in recent years.
As the driving force behind the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, the MPA finds itself at the center of an international enforcement apparatus.
Just a few days ago we reported how ACE was instrumental in shutting down pirate streaming services in Latin America. Pretty much at the same time, it was involved in over a dozen arrests in Singapore, where more than 2,500 pirate streaming boxes were seized at Lim Square.
The MPA and ACE can already claim a long list of anti-piracy successes but some of the most egregious threats are rather persistent. This is apparent from the latest overview of ‘notorious markets’ that was just submitted to the US Trade Representative (USTR).
The MPA report typically provides a detailed overview of the piracy landscape. This year, the USTR further asked rightsholders to explain how piracy impacts US workers. According to the movie industry group, the effect is significant.
“In 2020, there were an estimated 137.2 billion visits to film and TV piracy sites globally, which cost the U.S. economy at least $29.2 billion in lost revenue each year. Specifically, piracy has been estimated to reduce employment in our industry between 230,000 and 560,000 jobs,” MPA writes, citing external research.
The Internet’s Responsibility
The MPA notes that piracy is a global problem that requires cooperation from the broader Internet ecosystem. Services that see themselves as neutral intermediaries, operating parts of the core Internet infrastructure, should take responsibility.
“All stakeholders in the internet ecosystem – including hosting providers, DNS providers, cloud services, advertising networks, payment processors, social networks, and search engines – should actively seek to reduce support for notoriously infringing sites,” MPA writes.
The industry group views Cloudflare as part of this group and mentions the US company by name in its submission.
“Cloudflare’s customers include some of the most notorious, longstanding pirate websites in the world, including the massively popular streaming site cuevana3.me and The Pirate Bay,” MPA notes, adding that repeated notices of infringement elicited no action on Cloudflare’s part.
The notorious markets list is limited to non-US operations, so Cloudflare itself isn’t one of the MPA’s targets. Various other Internet services are, including several third-party intermediaries.
Registries, Hosting, Ads, and Payments
The MPA’s list of notorious markets calls out domain name registries, including the Russian .RU registry, and the companies that maintain the records for the .CH, .CC, .IO, .ME and .TO domain names. These continue to keep pirate sites on board, despite numerous complaints.
The same is true for the payment provider VoguePay, which is reportedly quite popular among IPTV services. In addition, advertisers such as 1XBET and Propeller Ads are called out as well. The latter company rebutted MPA’s accusations last year but that didn’t prevent it from being highlighted again.
Hosting companies are also cited as intermediaries that could and should do more. Instead, some find themselves appealing to pirate services with products such as “bulletproof” hosting. Squitter.eu and Amaratu are two such examples, the MPA reports.
Piracy as a Service
In addition to third-party intermediaries, there is also a category of services that caters to pirates directly. These “piracy as a service” (PaaS) companies offer tools that allow people to start a pirate site with minimal effort.
“PaaS encompasses a suite of often off-the-shelf services that make it easy for would-be pirates without any technical knowledge to create, operate, and monetize a fully functioning pirate operation,” MPA writes.
The MPA first defined PaaS as a separate category in its report last year. In its latest overview, it again mentions a variety of services such as Collaps.org, which offers a pirate movie CMS, and XFileSharing, which offers cyberlocker software.
“These services are evidence of the scale, sophistication, and profitability of modern online commercial copyright infringement. The emergence and development of PaaS services have become a key concern of MPA and a top priority for its antipiracy efforts.”
Classic Pirate Sites and IPTV
Actual pirate sites themselves are also mentioned, including the usual suspects The Pirate Bay, RARBG and YTS. In addition to torrent sites, the MPA also lists direct download hubs, streaming portals and linking sites, including Uptobox.com, Fmovies.to and Egy.best.
Various dedicated piracy apps get a mention as well, and the MPA further includes a long list of unauthorized IPTV services. The anti-piracy group says that it has identified more than a thousand pirate IPTV platforms, so the list provided to the USTR is certainly not exhaustive.
In fact, the MPA says that all companies, sites, and services are part of a broader piracy problem. Those flagged in the MPA’s report are just examples of some of the worst offenders, nothing more.
In a similar vein, we have also noticed that some “notorious markets” are removed from the list over time. That doesn’t mean that they’re no longer considered a problem for Hollywood, of course.
All in all, it is clear that, despite the ACE successes, the MPA still has plenty of work ahead. With its USTR submission, it is hoping for a helping hand from the US Government, potentially in the form of some diplomatic nudges.
A list of all sites and services that are highlighted and categorized in MPA’s notorious markets submission (pdf) can be found below. For additional context, we highlight the new entries, while also indicating those from the 2021 report that have been removed.
Linking and Streaming Websites
– Cuevana3.me (new)
– Cuevana.pro (new)
– Dytt8.net, Dy2018.com, Dygod.net, and Ygdy8.com
– Fullhdizlesene (new)
– Hesgoal.com (new)
– KatmovieHD (new)
– Myflixer.to (new)
– NooNoo.tv (new)
– Rezka.ag (new)
– Soap2Day (new)
– Streaming Community (new)
– Tamilblasters / Streamblasters / TamilMV (new)
– TheNetNaija (new)
Direct Download Cyberlockers and Streaming Video Hosting Services
– Baidu Pan and Baidu Search
– DoodStream.com (new)
Illegal IPTV Services
– Apollo Group TV (new)
– BIPTV.best and BestBuyIPTV.store
– IcutCord.net (new)
– Iptv.casa (new)
– SatCon Africa
– Spider Receiver
Piracy Devices and Apps
– LokLok (new)
– SVI Cloud
– Unblock Tech (unblocktech.com)
– PopcornTime.one (Kids)
Peer-to-Peer Networks & BitTorrent Portals
– Gimmepeers.com (formally Bitsoup.org)
– Squitter.eu (ABC Consultancy)
– .CH Registry
– .IO Registry (new)
– .CC Registry (new)
– .ME Registry (new)
– .RU Registry
– .TO Registry
– .IS Registry
– .TV Registry
Ad Networks and Online Advertisers
– Propeller Ads
– PopAds and PopCash
– WHMCS Smarters