Uptobox Bans Americans After Visa and MasterCard Pressure

The popular file-hosting service Uptobox has blocked access for U.S. users following pressure from Visa and MasterCard. The credit card companies are asking payment processors to stop servicing the cyberlockers over piracy concerns.

uptoboxAfter failed attempts to introduce tougher anti-piracy legislation in the United States, Hollywood and the major record labels focused their efforts on strangling revenue of so-called rogue sites.

Payment services are among the key intermediaries and the entertainment industries previously helped negotiate an anti-piracy agreement between VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, PaySafeCard and several other key players.

As a result several major file-hosting services have had trouble accepting payments from their users. The popular cyberlocker Uptobox is among the latest casualties of this effort, TorrentFreak has learned.

“Our payment processors have received a notification from Visa and MasterCard telling them to stop accepting credit card payments for our service, subject to penalties,” Uptobox operator Guillaume informs us.

“These measures are the result of pressure from movie studios on Visa and Mastercard,” he adds.

Uptobox is currently still able to accept credit card payments through a reseller, but decided to cut all ties with the United States to prevent the situation from deteriorating further.

This means that U.S. visitors are no longer allowed to access the site. Instead they receive the following notice. “Sorry, Uptobox.com is not available in your country.”

Uptobox block


uptobox-block

Uptobox will consider lifting the ban if a European payment provider is willing to directly accept credit card payments for them. However, considering Visa and MasterCard’s tight grip on the situation this may prove to be difficult.

According to Guillaume, MasterCard previously complained to payment processors Hipay and Allopass as well, following a request from Disney. In addition, PayPal has rejected Uptobox’s requests to become an authorized file-hosting service.

According to statistics released last year more than 1,500 “pirate” merchants were cut off from payment providers between 2011 and 2013, and this list continues to expand week after week.

Despite the setbacks Uptobox is determined to keep its business going. The cyberlocker is currently exploring several alternative payment methods including Bitcoin.

“Processing payments for our users is hard right now, but we are sure we will find a suitable payment processor. We’re also considering to support Bitcoin and other payment methods such as SMS,” Guillaume tells us.

“For now, the service is not in danger, we still have a bright future ahead of us,” the Uptobox operator concludes.

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