The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has singled out the online piracy sites causing the entertainment industry trouble, with Russia and The Netherlands among the countries hosting the most offending digital outlets.
In its annual report to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), identifying the world’s "most notorious markets" for distributing infringing content, the MPAA listed the cyberlockers, streaming and linking sites, peer-to-peer networks and BitTorrent portals that are most damaging to Hollywood.
On the direct download and cyberlocker side, MPAA singled out six top offenders, two from Russia (Rapidgator.net and VK.com) and two from The Netherlands (Letitbit.net and Uploaded.net). For sites like Letitbit.net, the MPAA seemed especially concerned, due to how uploaders of content are paid around $60 per upload, and how downloaders get paid as well ($15 per 1,000 downloads). The site also maintains a deal with Moevideo.net, where people are paid for views. Rapidgator.net in Russia has a similar reward system in place, along with paid subscription tiers.
Uploaded.net (based in both The Netherlands and Switzerland) incentivizes users to upload large files by paying out rewards based on file size, and generates approximately $6.6 million in annual revenue, MPAA reported. Russia’s VK.com, a leading social networking site in Russia and Russian speaking territories, is "a hotbed of illegal distribution of movie, television and music files," facilitating streaming playback through embedded video players.
Nowvideo.sx offers uploaders $20 per 1,000 downloads and systematically "refuse[s] to comply with takedown notices," MPAA reported, leaving rights holders with no way to remove infringing content. In Romania, MPAA pointed to Videomega.tv, which is "masked behind a proxy service to curb rights holders’ ability to identify its precise host," MPAA reported.
On the linking and streaming Web site side, MPAA listed Cuevana.tv in Argentina, Kinogo.co in the Ukraine, Megafilmeshd.net out of Brazil, Poland and Bulgaria, Movie4k.to from Romania and The Netherlands, Pelis24.com from multiple countries, Primewire.ag from France and Sweden, Putlocker.is in Switzerland and Vietnam, Solarmovie.is in Canada and Latvia, Estonia’s Viooz, and Watchseries.lt from Switzerland as the top worldwide offenders.
For peer-to-peer and BitTorrent sites, MPAA focused on those offering high-quality, newly released content, and a familiar name showed up: Sweden’s The Pirate Bay. Now ThePirateBay.gd, it’s one of the largest BitTorrent sites around, available in 35 languages, serving more than 43.5 million peers. Despite several legal judgments against it, the site continues to exist thanks to constant relocation of its home domain.
Rounding out the MPAA’s worst offender list for BitTorrent and P2P sites: Extratorrent.cc in Ukraine, Rutracker.org in Russia, Torrentz.eu in Poland and Yts.to and Kat.cr in several locations.
Lastly, the MPAA made note of several physical markets where burned or pressed infringing DVDs and Blu-ray Discs are regularly sold. The locations include street markets in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, in Brazil, flea markets in Toronto, the Harco Glodok market in Jakarta, Indonesia, the Jonesborough Market in Northern Ireland, two markets in the Ukraine, two markets in Moscow, and a host of different markets throughout Thailand, India and Mexico.