Responding to a request from the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), the MPAA has sent in its annual list of rogue websites.
TorrentFreak obtained a copy of the MPAA’s latest submission. The Hollywood group targets a wide variety of websites which they claim are promoting the illegal distribution of movies and TV-shows, with declining incomes and lost jobs in the movie industry as a result.
These sites and services not only threaten the movie industry, but according to the MPAA they also put consumers at risk through identity theft and by spreading malware.
“It is important to note that websites that traffic in infringing movies, television shows, and other copyrighted content do not harm only the rights holder. Malicious software or malware, which puts Internet users at risk of identity theft, fraud, and other ills, is increasingly becoming a source of revenue for pirate sites,” MPAA writes.
Below is an overview of the “notorious markets” the MPAA reported to the Government. The sites are listed in separate categories and each have a suspected location, as defined by the movie industry group.
BitTorrent remains the most popular P2P software as the global piracy icon, MPAA notes. The Pirate Bay poses one of the largest threats here. Based on data from Comscore, the MPAA says that TPB has about 40 million unique visitors per month, which appears to be a very low estimate.
“Thepiratebay.se (TPB) claims to be the largest BitTorrent website on the Internet with a global Alexa rank of 91, and a local rank of 72 in the U.S. Available in 35 languages, this website serves a wide audience with upwards of 43.5 million peers,” MPAA writes.
“TPB had 40,551,220 unique visitors in August 2014 according to comScore World Wide data. Traffic arrives on this website through multiple changing ccTLD domains and over 90 proxy websites that assist TPB to circumvent site blocking actions.”
For the first time the MPAA also lists YIFY/YTS in its overview of notorious markets. The MPAA describes YTS as one of the most popular release groups, and notes that these are used by the Popcorn Time streaming application.
“[Yts.re] facilitates the downloading of free copies of popular movies, and currently lists more than 5,000 high-quality movie torrents available to download for free,” MPAA writes.
“Additionally, the content on Yts.re supports desktop torrent streaming application ‘Popcorn Time’ which has an install base of 1.4 million devices and more than 100,000 active users in the United States alone.”
The full list of reported torrent sites is as follows:
– Kickass.to (Several locations)
– Thepiratebay.se (Sweden)
– Torrentz.eu (Germany/Luxembourg)
– Rutracker.org (Russia)
– Yts.re (Several locations)
The mention of Xunlei.com is interesting as the Chinese company signed an anti-piracy deal with the MPA earlier this year. However, according to the MPAA piracy is still rampant, and there is no evidence that Xunlei has fulfilled its obligations.
Direct Download and Streaming Cyberlockers
The second category of pirate sites reported by the MPAA are cyberlockers. The movie industry group points out that these sites generate million of dollars in revenue, citing the recently released report from Netnames.
Interestingly, the MPAA doesn’t include 4shared and Mega, the two services who discredited the report in question. As in previous submissions VKontakte, Russia’s equivalent of Facebook, is also listed as a notorious market.
– VK.com (Russia)
– Uploaded.net (Netherlands)
– Rapidgator.net (Russia)
– Firedrive.com (New Zealand)
– Nowvideo.sx and the “Movshare Group” (Panama/Switzerland/Netherlands)
– Netload.in (Germany)
The largest category in terms of reported sites represents linking websites. These sites don’t host the infringing material, but only link to it. The full list of linking sites is as follows.
– Free-tv-video-online.me (Canada)
– Movie4k.to (Romania)
– Primewire.ag (Estonia)
– Watchseries.lt (Switzerland)
– Putlocker.is (Switzerland)
– Solarmovie.is (Latvia)
– Megafilmeshd.net (Brazil)
– Filmesonlinegratis.net (Brazil)
– Watch32.com (Germany)
– Yyets.com (China)
– Cuevana.tv (Argentina)
– Viooz.ac (Estonia)
– Degraçaemaisgostoso.org (Brazil)
– Telona.org (Brazil)
The inclusion of Cuevana.tv is noteworthy as the website stopped offering direct links to infringing content earlier this year. Instead, it now direct people to its custom “Popcorn Time” equivalent “Storm.”
Finally, the MPAA lists one Usenet provider, the German based Usenext.com. This service was included because, unlike other providers, it allegedly heavily markets itself to P2P users.
Later this year the US Trade Representative will use the submissions of the MPAA and other 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 local authorities take action.