Through a rights holders’ defense association, Hollywood studios accuse several French sites of facilitating movie piracy. A handful of instant download platforms and a major IPTV provider are handpicked by the giants of American cinema.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the American association that represents Netflix and the largest Hollywood studios, just published its annual report on pirate sites in the world. As always, this report was sent to the office of the United States Trade Representative.
Piracy, a global problem
The Hollywood Association states that piracy is a a global problem. To counter the explosion of pirate sites, the MPAA is asking for it” all players in the internet ecosystem » to collaborate. The report identifies web hosts, DNS providers, cloud services, advertising networks, payment services, social networks and search engines. All of these actors must take responsibility, the MPAA says.
Part of the report is devoted to the passivity of cloudflare, American CDN. The MPAA accuses the company of serving” some of the most infamous and oldest pirate websites in the world”, as The pirate bay. Despite ” repeated infringement reports » sent to Cloudflare, the host has not taken any action against the torrent site.
As always, the MPAA drafts a blacklist of sites that enable hacking cultural works. There are sites for illegal downloading, illegal streaming, sites with links to illegal content, or even IPTV providers. More than a thousand IPTV platforms have been identified by MPAA teams. In Europe alone, the IPTV market almost a billion euros in annual turnoverestimates the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office).
Which French sites stand out?
Note that the association is pointing the finger several French sites in its annual report. Unsurprisingly, the organization regrets that many direct download platforms, hosted in France, facilitate the sharing of protected works.
Pin the MPAA first 1fichier.com, a file hosting service similar to Mega, MediaFire, and RapidShare. The French platform allows internet users to put illegal films online. This is far from the first time 1fichier.com has been identified as a content piracy hub. In May 2021, the site was also fined EUR 935,500 for hosting copies of illegal Nintendo games. Note that 1fichier has been on the MPAA blacklist for several years. Hosted by Dstorage Network, the site often neglected to respond to withdrawal requests entitled parties. According to a report by the US Trade Representative published in 2020, only 0.12% of requests are supported by 1fichier.
The MPAA also mentions the case of Streamtape.com, another video hosting and sharing platform. The site has become a popular place for unauthorized sharing by rewarding internet users whose content exceeds 10,000 downloads. We also like uptobox.com, another direct download site. Mirroring 1fichier and Streamtape, Uptobox is ” widely used by pirate sites in Europe ». The MPAA also believes that Uptostream, Uptobox’s unrestricted streaming platform, is heavily exploited by hackers to generate passive revenue through advertisements.
TheKing365tv.site, a French IPTV provider, is listed in the MPAA directory. Well established in the IPTV industry, it offers ” over 2,200 international channels and an extensive VOD library » thanks to many servers in North Africa.
Note that the blacklist also contains unexpected names, including very popular apps around the world, such as Telegram. Through instant messaging, many hackers apparently share copyrighted content with impunity, the MPA says.
The Impact of Piracy on the Movie Industry
Finally, the MPAA states: the impact of movie piracy on the movie industry American. The association believes that the ” 137.2 billion visits “registered in 2020 on pirate sites charges” at least $29.2 billion in revenue to the industry that year.
” Hacking is estimated to reduce employment in our industry by 230,000 to 560,000 jobs says the MPA, citing third-party investigations.
In addition, illegal copying of films would contribute to: reduce the income of cinema employees. As the association notes, most industry professionals rely on copyrights for their livelihood and for their retirement. By offering illegal content on the web, pirate sites would reduce movie revenues, which would erode the value of copyrights. The MPAA cites the U.S. Department of Professional Employees and states that “ the fight against online piracy » allow direct” to defend jobs and benefits in the United States”.
Several studies confirm the MPAA’s finding. The illegal consumption of audiovisual programs would be accompanied by a decrease in the number of visitors to darkrooms and in revenues. According to a study conducted by the European Commission in 2015illegal downloading popular movies, such as blockbusters, tends to affect cinema revenues.
“The results show a 40% move in sales, indicating that for every 10 recently illegally watched movies, 4 fewer movies were legally consumed”summarize the report.
This is the only case where the impact of piracy has been observed. For other works there is no evidence that piracy has a consistently negative influence on the profits made by the rightholders. The report, written by the consultancy Ecory, specifies that a downloaded work never equates to a work that is sold less.