Fragmented Streaming Landscape Keeps Piracy Relevant, Research Suggests

Fragmented Streaming Landscape Keeps Piracy Relevant, Research Suggests

There is little doubt that, for many people, streaming services have become the standard for watching movies and TV-shows.

This is no surprise, since subscription-based streaming services are among the best and most convenient alternatives to piracy at this point.

There is a problem though. The whole appeal of the streaming model becomes diluted when there are too many ‘Netflixes.’

More choice wouldn’t be a bad thing if all these services offered a broad library of content. The problem, however, is that all have different ‘libraries’ and exclusive productions are becoming more and more common.

Since most households have a limited budget for online entertainment, consumers have to choose which services they want. This is a problem that keeps getting worse, especially now that Apple and Disney are planning to release their own streaming platforms soon.

The irony of this situation is that the platforms, which are supposed to make piracy obsolete, are in fact keeping it relevant. This has been argued anecdotally in the past, but research by piracy research firm MUSO among 1,000 UK adults, shows that this is indeed happening.

The vast majority of all surveyed consumers, 80.4%,  feel that they’re already paying too much for content streaming. At the same time, 64.2% of the people who took part in the survey are not willing to pay for any more streaming services this year.

Even more worrying is that more than half of all respondents, 50.8%, said they were likely or very likely to use unlicensed platforms to search for content that’s not available to them. In other words, they are considering to pirate video in order to get what they want.

“This research shows that people will inevitably seek it elsewhere via unlicensed platforms, but this does, however, create further opportunities for content owners to understand this audience with meaningful and valuable insights,” MUSO CEO Andy Chatterley notes.

“With most people only subscribing to only a couple of services, it’s going to be really interesting to see what happens with the launch of Disney+ and Apple TV+. Will consumers ditch an existing service for one of the new ones? Or will Apple struggle to crack the TV market again?”

While it’s easy to blame rightsholders and streaming platforms, this puzzle isn’t easy to solve.

Ideally, there would be a single platform where people can access everything they want, similar to pirate sites and services. The problem is, however, that this won’t bring in enough revenue, at least not at the subscription rates we have now.

That said, there has to be a better option than to keep adding more and more services and fragmenting the steaming landscape?

In any case, the flawed argument that people have no ‘excuse’ to pirate because there are plenty of legal alternatives is weakening every year. Yes, pretty much everything can be accessed legally, but people need deep pockets to do so.

It appears that the people who benefit the most from increased fragmentation are the operators of pirate sites and services. That’s probably not what Hollywood intended.

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DISH and Bell IPTV ‘Pirates’ Pressed to Settle Or Face Legal Action

DISH and Bell IPTV ‘Pirates’ Pressed to Settle Or Face Legal Action

Traditional file-sharing pirates are no stranger to settlement demands from copyright holders.  For over a decade, companies have been monitoring BitTorrent swarms in an effort to extract cash from alleged infringers. 

These efforts have now carried over to IPTV streaming pirates. Generally speaking, it’s impossible for rightsholders to see who’s using pirate IPTV services unless the provider is willing to hand over customer details. This is exactly what’s happening. 

The IPTV settlement campaign is run by NagraStar, which is a joint venture between DISH Network and Kudelski Group. While some rightsholders try to keep these efforts out of the public eye, NagraStar has a public website explaining in detail what they do. 

The company is already known for demanding settlements from and filing lawsuits against people who decrypt satellite signals including IKS (Intenet Key Sharing) pirates. As Cord Cutters News spotted, this has now carried over to pirate IPTV subscribers. 

NagraStar’s efforts focus on people who obtain programming from DISH Network and Bell TV, without permission. These generally are subscribers of unlicensed IPTV services. These subscriber records are not public, but some vendors hand them over when they are caught. 

“When NagraStar settles with pirates who operate online services that sell illegal content, we commonly receive transaction evidence of all the sales made to end users and secondary resellers. NagraStar uses this information to send letters and emails proposing a settlement amount to avoid litigation,” NagraStar explains.

The company says that these settlements are needed to recoup the losses it suffers from these pirate IPTV services. The demands aren’t cheap either. Pirate subscribers typically get a settlement offer of $3,500 while resellers of unauthorized IPTV subscriptions have to cough up $7,500.

NagraStar knows that many of the targeted subscribers may not realize that they are doing something wrong. However, on paper there appears to be little clemency, aside from the offer to pay the settlement in monthly installments for those who can’t afford to pay at once.

In addition, people who are willing to hand over illicit streaming devices or pirate set-top boxes can get a discount. The same is true for those who are willing to give up their credentials to piracy forums, which NagraStar will likely use to gather further intel.

The company stresses that its letters are not a scam. Ignoring a settlement demand isn’t wise either, it states, noting that the case will then be escalated to its legal team.

“Choosing to ignore this letter will result in your referral to our legal team. This usually leads to a lawsuit, which results in a judgment that is public record,” NagraStar writes.

“In court, every illegal purchase made can carry a hefty fine of up to $10,000. It is in your best interest, as well as NagraStar’s, to settle this matter outside of court with a pre-suit settlement offer to avoid heavy fines and to keep this matter confidential.”

This threatening language is self-serving, of course, and aimed at motivating people to pay up. That said, the risk of a lawsuit is indeed legitimate. NagraStar has previously filed several lawsuits against vendors and individual pirates.

NagraStar’s website also features several testimonies from pirates, or statements of compliance, as they are called. This includes a “Rocket IPTV” pirate, and a former subscriber of an unnamed pirate IPTV service.

While its unlikely that NagraStar will pursue legal action against all who ignore the letters, disregarding the settlement demands is not without risk.

Chicago law firm ‘The Russell Firm‘, which has experience with defending people accused of piracy, including in this matter, urges recipients to take the letters seriously. 

“Whatever you do, do not ignore the letter. Legal matters don’t get cheaper with time. They get more complicated and more expensive,” the law firm advises, noting that they offer a free consultation.

NagraStar, for its part, points out that a lawyer is not required to settle a claim. The company stresses that its associates will do their best to negotiate a reasonable settlement offer, whatever that may be. 

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Aussie Blocking Juggernaut Continues With 105 More ‘Pirate’ Domains

Aussie Blocking Juggernaut Continues With 105 More ‘Pirate’ Domains

Last December, Australia’s Federal Court issued an injunction in favor of Village Roadshow, Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount, Columbia, Universal, and Warner, requiring local ISPs to block 181 pirate domains linked to 78 sites.

Soon after, the same companies (plus Australian distributor Madman and Tokyo Broadcasting) returned to court with a new application to block 79 “online locations” associated with 99 domains.

In common with previous blocking applications, local ISPs including Telstra, Optus, Vocus, TPG, Vodafone, plus their subsidiaries, were asked to prevent access to the platforms, stated as all being located overseas. In all, 52 Internet service providers were listed in the application.

This week, more than six months after the original documents were filed, Justice Nicholas in the Federal Court granted an order under Section 115A of the Copyright Act 1968 in favor of the studios.

The order appears to have changed slightly since the original application. It now lists 104 domains spread across 76 allegedly-infringing platforms. Many of the sites are well-known torrent and streaming services, including StreamCR, Torrenting, TorrentLeech, AnimeHeaven, and HorribleSubs, to name just a few.

It’s extremely unusual for any sites to mount any kind of defense against blocking but earlier this year, Socrates Dimitriadis – the operator of Greek-Movies.com – did just that.

“My site is just a search engine that refers users to third-party websites,” he explained in a letter to the Court.

That appears to have held no sway with the Judge. Greek-Movies is the 15th site listed in the injunction, with ISPs required to target its main domain (greek-movies.com) and/or its IP address 136.243.50.75, using DNS, IP address or URL blocking, or “any alternative technical means”.

A copy of the injunction can be downloaded here (pdf)

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La Liga Fined €250K For Breaching GDPR While Spying on Piracy

La Liga Fined €250K For Breaching GDPR While Spying on Piracy

With millions of fans around the globe, Spain’s La Liga soccer league is one of the most popular in the game.

To allow fans to keep up with all the latest news, La Liga offers an Android app with a number of features including schedules, kick-off times, and the all-important results.

Controversially, however, the app also has a surprising trick up its sleeve.

After gaining consent from users, La Liga’s software turns fans’ phones into spying devices which are able to analyze their surroundings using the microphone, listening out for unauthorized broadcasts in bars and restaurants, for example. This audio, collected Shazam-style, is then paired with phone GPS data to pinpoint establishments airing matches without a license.

The feature was outlined in the app’s privacy policy along with stated uses that include combating piracy.

“The purposes for which this functionality will be used are: (i) to develop statistical patterns on soccer consumption and (ii) to detect fraudulent operations of the retransmissions of LaLiga football matches (piracy),” the policy read when first uncovered last summer.

While controversial, La Liga felt that it was on solid ground in respect of the feature and its declaration to app users. AEPD, Spain’s data protection agency (Agencia Española de Protección de Datos), fundamentally disagrees.

As a result, AEPD has hit La Liga with a significant 250,000 euro fine for not properly informing its users in respect of the ‘microphone’ feature, including not displaying a mic icon when recording.

The data protection agency said that La Liga’s actions breached several aspects of the EU’s GDPR, including a failure to gain consent every time the microphones in users’ devices were activated.

In a statement, La Liga says it “disagrees deeply” with the AEPD’s decision and believes the agency has “not made the effort to understand how the technology works.” Announcing it will go to court to challenge the ruling, La Liga says it has always complied with the GDPR and other relevant data protection regulations.

Noting that users of the app must “expressly, proactively and on two occasions give their consent” for the microphone to be used, La Liga further insists that the app does not “record, store or listen” to people’s conversations.

“[T]he technology used is designed to generate only a specific sound footprint (acoustic fingerprint). This fingerprint only contains 0.75% of the information, discarding the remaining 99.25%, so it is technically impossible to interpret the voice or human conversations. This footprint is transformed into an alphanumeric code (hash) that is not reversible to the original sound,” La Liga says.

AEPD has ordered La Liga to introduce new mechanisms to ensure that users are properly notified when the anti-piracy features of the app are in use. However, La Liga says it has no need to implement them because at the end of the current season (June 30, 2019), the functionality will be disabled.

“La Liga will continue to test and implement new technologies and innovations that allow us to improve the experience of our fans and, of course, fight against this very serious scourge that is piracy,” the league concludes.

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India Court Hands Down Cricket World Cup Piracy Blocking Order

India Court Hands Down Cricket World Cup Piracy Blocking Order

Over the past decade there have been dozens of orders requiring Internet service providers around the world to block access to copyright-infringing content.

The majority of these orders have attempted to protect the movie and music industries but more recently live sports broadcasters have become involved.

In most if not all sports-blocking cases, the content has been both audio and visual, such as live soccer matches to which the English Premier League owns the rights. However, a new blocking order out of India is attempting to block ‘pirate’ radio streams, delivered via the Internet.

The application was made by Channel 2 Group Corporation. According to the company’s website, its founder is Ajay Sethi, a man with a passion for cricket, who launched “the first ever Radio over the internet – Cricket Radio.”

Channel 2’s application at the Delhi High Court states that the company previously acquired the audio rights to the ICC Men’s World Cup, 2019. The agreement allows it to transmit audio coverage of Cricket World Cup matches (live, delayed, or highlights) via the Internet and private FM radio stations throughout India.

Of course, while Channel 2’s agreement may be exclusive in theory, the company says that other entities are encroaching (or likely to encroach) on its rights as the tournament progresses. As such, it’s seeking protection from the Court to have such broadcasts blocked.

In an ex parte interim order handed down by the Delhi High Court, the broadcaster appears to have been granted permission to do just that.

In total there are 249 defendants in the case, two of which are government departments only present for administrative reasons and 247 for direct involvement. Just one is mentioned by name in the published order, lead defendant live.mycricketlive.net. The remainder are not detailed but are variously described as follows:

  • Defendants 1-64 (URLs/Websites)
  • Defendants 65-68 (private radio platform operators)
  • Defendants 69-105 (Internet service providers)
  • Defendants 105-107 (Government departments) (108 absent from list)
  • Defendants 109-249 (Unknown defendants, to be determined)

“The Plaintiff’s apprehension regarding the likely abuse of Plaintiff’s exclusive Audio Rights and intellectual property rights arises from previous instances of infringement of the Plaintiff’s exclusive broadcasting rights by various interested persons,” the order reads.

“The said instances of infringement caused considerable financial loss to the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff is given to believe from its agencies that the Defendants arrayed herein will infringe the exclusive Audio Rights of the Plaintiff.”

Channel 2 states that defendants 1-105 have no right to offer radio/audio broadcasts of any ICC Event, including those in the World Cup. As a result, they urgently need to be restrained from doing so, since the tournament has already begun. Defendants 69-105 must take measures to block the unlicensed streams provided by the infringing websites/services.

Defendants 109-249 are so-called Ashok Kumars, which are the Indian equivalent of John Does. They are predicted to infringe on Channel 2’s rights so need to be dealt with quickly should they do so, the Court agreed.

“The Plaintiff apprehends that if the Plaintiff were to wait and identify specific parties and collect evidence of infringement by such specific parties, significant time would be lost and the cricket matches may come to an end,” the order reads.

“Irreparable injury, loss and damage, would be caused to the Plaintiff in such a scenario, which would be impossible to quantify in monetary terms alone.”

As part of the interim order, search engines are also required to delete from their results any websites/URLs that provide access to infringing sites/streams. They must do so following a notification from Channel 2 itself.

Given the broad nature of many blocking injunctions in this and other jurisdictions, not much of the above comes as a surprise anymore. However, there is a somewhat unusual addition to the order, which targets services that provide ball-by-ball and/or minute-by-minute updates on the status of matches.

They may only do so “gratuitously only after a time lag of 15 minutes.”

The interim order of the Delhi High Court can be found here (pdf)

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Pirate Site Blocking Efforts Expand to Ecuador

Pirate Site Blocking Efforts Expand to Ecuador

Well over a decade ago copyright holders first went to court to block a pirate site. The target in this initial case, which took place in Denmark, was the Russian MP3 ‘store’ AllofMP3. 

The court eventually ordered local ISPs to block the site and soon after similar requests were made in countries all around the world.

Earlier this year, the Motion Picture Association reported that 4,000 websites have been blocked in 31 countries over the past several years. As rightsholders see blocking as an effective means to hinder pirates the list continues to expand, with the South American country Ecuador as the latest addition.

Late last week Ecuador’s National Intellectual Property Service (SENADI) issued an administrative order requiring Internet providers to block subscribers from accessing several Rojadirecta websites. 

As one of the oldest and most prominent live streaming sites, Rojadirecta is a thorn in the side of many international sports organizations. In this case, the blocking order was requested by Fox Latin America and Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional.

The blocking order requires local Internet providers to block a total of five domain names; Rojadiretahd.online, Rojadirectatv.football, Rojadirectatv.tv, Rojadirecta.online and Rojadirecta-tv.me.

The blocking order

This is the first blocking order of this kind in Ecuador that we’re aware of. According to reports, some ISPs are using DNS blockades, which are relatively easy to circumvent, but more evasive techniques are being utilized as well. 

Opponents of the blocking measures complain that they violate freedom of expression. They fear that more blocking efforts will follow, without proper judicial oversight. 

That said, SENADI’s order has a clear legal basis. The measure is permitted under the Organic Code on the Social Economy of Knowledge, Creativity and Innovation. In this case, ISPs were required to take action before June 6th, or face criminal liabilities.

Interestingly, the list of targeted “Rojadirecta” domains doesn’t include the official website, which operates from Rojadirecta.me. Instead, it appears to be targeted at third-party sites that use the same name.

At the time of writing Rojadirectatv.football is redirecting to Rojadirectaonline.biz, possibly in an attempt to circumvent the blocking efforts. Rojadiretahd.online and Rojadirecta.online have stopped working entirely, as these domains were suspended by the domain name registrar.

A copy of SENADI’s blocking order is available here (pdf).

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SET TV Loses Lawyer and Goes Dark in Piracy Case

SET TV Loses Lawyer and Goes Dark in Piracy Case

Last year the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, the global anti-piracy alliance featuring several Hollywood studios, Amazon, Netflix, and other entertainment companies, sued Florida-based SET Broadcast, LLC.

The company offered a popular software-based IPTV service and also sold pre-loaded set-top boxes.

While it was marketed as a legal service, according to the ACE members, Set TV’s software was little more than a pirate tool, allowing buyers to stream copyright-infringing content.

“Defendants market and sell subscriptions to ‘Setvnow,’ a software application that Defendants urge their customers to use as a tool for the mass infringement of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted motion pictures and television shows,” the complaint read.

The ACE members were not the only rightsholders that complained. June last year Dish Network tagged on with another copyright infringement lawsuit against the company, and soon after, the IPTV service went offline.

This was a blow to SET TV’s more than 180,000 subscribers and the company itself was hit hard as well. Last November it reached a settlement with Dish, agreeing to pay more than $90 million in damages and sign over its domain name.

The case against ACE is not over yet though. Over the past months, it moved into the discovery phase and the copyright holders requested to depose owner SET TV owner Jason Labossiere and its employee Nelson Johnson, who are both listed as defendants.

However, both parties failed to respond, as did SET TV as a company. Meanwhile, the relationship with their attorney Joseph Shapiro also went south. Outstanding invoices were left unpaid which prompted Shapiro to withdraw from the case.

“Defendants have not paid invoices for attorney fees for more than five months and are unwilling to make any payment at this time or to commit to any payment plan,” the court was informed.

“Additionally, relations between Defendants and Mr. Shapiro have degraded such that it is no longer feasible for Mr. Shapiro to represent Defendants in this case.”

In April the court agreed to remove the attorney from the case, instructing SET TV to find new counsel. Despite this clear instruction from the court, none of the defendants responded.

This left the ACE members with few other options than to request an entry of default against Set Broadcast. This was entered by a court clerk a few days ago, and if the company remains dark, it will likely lose the case.

Now that the company is in default the copyright holders will likely submit a motion for a default judgment, proposing what they believe is an appropriate damages amount. This will likely amount to millions of dollars.

Considering the earlier $90 million settlement with Dish, it’s doubtful that there is any money left to take.

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Kim Dotcom Begins Final Supreme Court Battle to Avoid US Extradition

Kim Dotcom Begins Final Supreme Court Battle to Avoid US Extradition

When file-hosting site Megaupload was shut down in 2012, few could have predicted the events of the years to follow.

The arrest of founder Kim Dotcom and colleagues Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato in New Zealand, triggered dozens of legal processes, many designed to expedite, delay or indeed avoid the quartet’s extradition to the United States.

Before it was closed, Megaupload claimed responsibility for around 4% of global Internet traffic. Much of this, the United States government claims, was pirated content, particularly movies, TV shows and music, costing US companies around US$500 million.

Dotcom has persistently argued that as an online service provider, Megaupload should receive safe harbor protections in respect of the activities of its users. US authorities, on the other hand, see a massive criminal conspiracy for which the four should face justice on the other side of the world.

At every step thus far, the New Zealand legal system has found in favor of sending the men to the United States.

In December 2015, Judge Dawson in the District Court found that Dotcom and his associates were eligible for extradition. That decision was subsequently appealed to the High Court, with Dotcom and his now former colleagues launching an appeal alongside a demand for a judicial review.

During February 2017, the appellants discovered that both of those efforts had proven unsuccessful. However, the men were granted leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal on two questions of law, including whether the High Court was correct to find that their alleged conduct amounted to an extradition offense.

In July 2018, the Court of Appeal upheld the earlier decision that Dotcom and the others were indeed eligible to be extradited. Importantly, the Court considered whether copyright infringement can be a criminal offense in New Zealand and the United States.

It was ultimately found that the alleged conduct of the men would breach various offenses under the Crimes Act 1961, meaning that extradition would be permissible. But this wouldn’t be a typical Dotcom matter if a final chance of appeal wasn’t grabbed with both hands.

As a result, the case headed to the Supreme Court, where the final hearing is taking place over five days this week, beginning today.

“In 2005 I created a website that allowed people to upload files to the cloud. At the time only small files could be attached to emails. Megaupload allowed users to email a link to a file. That’s it,” Dotcom wrote on Twitter this morning.

“In 2019 the NZ Supreme Court decides if I should be extradited for this ‘crime’.”

While lawyers for the accused are set to pick at every available thread in order to unravel the decision against their clients, early reports from the Supreme Court suggest already familiar themes.

Grant Illingworth, representing Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk, told the Court that he would be arguing that the alleged offenses did not amount to a crime in New Zealand, meaning that they could not be extraditable offenses. But, even if they were, insufficient evidence had been produced to show that offenses had even occurred.

“The district court judge misapplied the law at every stage of the judicial analysis,” Illingworth said, as quoted by RNZ.

“That constituted a serious miscarriage of justice. No higher court could have justified a finding of that kind, no matter how much they agreed with the outcome.”

Interestingly – or perhaps worryingly – it appears that discussions over how Megaupload operated were conducted via analogies this morning. At issue was Megaupload offering content for download and, in some cases, rewarding uploaders for putting that content there in the first place.

Justice Susan Glazebrook asked Illingworth whether it would be a breach of copyright if she photocopied a novel hypothetically written by one of her fellow judges and then sold it on a street corner. Illingworth said Megaupload didn’t make the copies, its users did.

“They’re providing the photocopier, someone else comes along and uses the photocopier. They’re [Megaupload] not putting up a sign saying, ‘Please come and use our photocopier for illegal purposes,’” he said.

Justice Joe Williams then elaborated on the analogy, alluding to Megaupload’s reward program.

“What if I get a wheelbarrow and I convey the copies [of the novel] to the street corner, knowing that she’ll be selling them, and she and I have some kind of agreement to share the profits?” he said.

Illingworth responded by saying it was never Megaupload’s intention to reward people for illegal behavior, it was all about rewarding them for increasing the site’s traffic.

While the hearing is set to run until Friday, any decision will take months to reach. Even if extradition is upheld, it will still need the approval of New Zealand’s Minister of Justice Andrew Little to take place.

His signature would mean that the men would be shipped to the US to face charges of copyright infringement, racketeering, and money laundering plus the possibility of years – even decades – in prison.

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Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 06/10/19

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 06/10/19

This week we have three newcomers in our chart.

Captain Marvel is the most downloaded movie.

The data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are Web-DL/Webrip/HDRip/BDrip/DVDrip unless stated otherwise.

RSS feed for the articles of the recent weekly movie download charts.

This week’s most downloaded movies are:
Movie Rank Rank last week Movie name IMDb Rating / Trailer
Most downloaded movies via torrents
1 (1) Captain Marvel 7.1 / trailer
2 (…) Pokémon Detective Pikachu 6.9 / trailer
3 (2) Us (Subbed HDRip) 7.2 / trailer
4 (3) Avengers: Endgame (HDCam) 9.1 / trailer
5 (…) Hotel Mumbai 7.8 / trailer
6 (4) Shazam! (Subbed HDRip) 7.5 / trailer
7 (6) Captive State 7.0 / trailer
8 (…) Wonder Park 5.7 / trailer
9 (8) Glass 6.9 / trailer
10 (5) Deadwood 8.4 / trailer

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Zippyshare’s “Forbidden” Message Spreads to Spain

Zippyshare’s “Forbidden” Message Spreads to Spain

Founded in 2006, file-hosting service Zippyshare has been around for well over a decade. 

The sharing hub, with an estimated 100 million users, is listed among the 500 most-visited sites on the Internet. 

However, in recent months Zippyshare began selectively closing its doors in several regions. In March we reported that UK visitors had been blocked, and a few weeks later German visitors got the same treatment. 

Instead of being welcomed by the regular homepage, they see a “forbidden” error in their browser, suggesting that the operators have specifically banned these regions. 

Forbidden!

This month Zippyshare’s mysterious blocking efforts expanded to Spain. Visitors from Southern European countries, or anyone who accesses the site from a Spanish IP-address, can no longer access the site.

The error message doesn’t explain what’s going on which has resulted in some simply presuming that the site has shut down, voluntarily or not. That’s certainly not the case though.

Others believe Zippyshare is blocked or banned in Spain, noting that it can still be accessed through a French VPN server. 

While that’s closer to the truth, the site isn’t being blocked by ISPs. On the contrary, it appears that Zippyshare is responsible for the blocking here. For some reason, people from the UK, Germany, and Spain are no longer welcome. 

We tried to get a comment from the site’s operators this week but have yet to receive a response. Our previous inquiries also remained unanswered.

One likely explanation is that Zippyshare took this step after some kind of legal pressure. It wouldn’t be the first time that a website has done this. Previously, several stream-rippers also blocked UK traffic, presumably over similar concerns.

While we’re not aware of any concrete legal issues,  the RIAA did report Zippyshare as a ‘notorious’ pirate site to the US Trade Representative late last year. That said, the site remains freely available in the US.

Whatever the reason for or source of the localized blockade is, people can always find a workaround. The site can still be accessed through a VPN, as long as it’s not from a server in one of the blocked countries.

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