The file-hosting business has been in a permanent state of chaos since the Megaupload shutdown in January. Many sites were quick to remove their affiliate programs and some went as far as blocking visitors from the US entirely.
It’s clear that site owners are concerned that their business might become a target, and if it’s up to the major movie studios this fear is justified. “We continue to make criminal referrals,” Paramount Pictures’ Alfred Perry said during the On Copyright conference in New York yesterday.
CNET reports that the Paramount Pictures produced a list of five “rogue” file-hosters, presented in a fancy graphic where Megaupload is crossed out. The prime targets on this shutdown list are Fileserve, MediaFire, Wupload, Putlocker and Depositfiles.
The movie studio claims that these “rogue” cyberlockers receive 41 billion page views a year, which translates to five views for every person on the planet.
The Shutdown List
In recent months the MPAA has criticized the business models of these and other cyberlockers on many occasions.
Last November, for example, we got our hands on an MPAA fact sheet titled“It’s All About the Money: The ‘Business’ Model of Rogue Cyberlockers” with an overview of the several affiliate programs some cyberlockers have in place. According to the MPAA these programs motivate users to share copyrighted material, thereby promoting piracy.
“Rogue cyberlockers aren’t just distribution hubs for stolen movies and TV shows – both the users who upload content and the operators who run the sites can earn money from doing so. As Internet video traffic grows, the threat from rogue cyberlockers that profit from stolen content is rising rapidly,” the MPAA explains in the document.
This fact sheet will most likely be forwarded to the Department of Justice with every new “rogue” cyberlocker that the MPAA reports.
Whether the Department of Justice will act on new referrals from the movie studios has yet to be seen. For now they have their hands full on Megaupload, whose founder told TorrentFreak that his defense teams is working on a killer motion in response to the “nonsense” US indictment.