MPAA: Early ‘Trusted Notifier’ Anti-Piracy Results Promising

In February, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) announced a partnership with Donuts Inc., which operates close to 200 domain name extensions, including .MOVIE and .THEATER.

The deal put the MPAA down as a “trusted notifier” for Donuts-operated domains, letting the organization report large-scale piracy sites registered, with Donuts investigating MPAA piracy claims.

Now Donuts is sharing some of the results of the agreement … and it’s good news for content owners.

In March, the MPAA referred three domain names to Donuts, accusing the sites of piracy. Donuts found that two of the sites “were identical to well-known pirated content Web sites, which were subjects of prior court orders and were illegally streaming and providing downloads of movies, including those still in theaters,” according to a Donuts blog post. “The third was dedicated to illegally downloading and live streaming television series.”

Donuts contacted the registrars of the sites, resulting in the deletion of two of them, with the third domain name currently under review.

And in May, Donuts was notified by the MPAA of three additional sites accused of copyright infringement, and after an investigation the domain names of two of the sites were deleted. The MPAA and Donuts are still investigating the third.

“Donuts has been extremely careful in balancing the rights of its end-user customers along with those of copyright holders,” the company wrote in a blog post. “We continue to believe this is a useful and efficient manner for addressing blatant online piracy, and we encourage others in the domain name community to follow suit with similar programs.

“Our hope is that this program will be a pre-cursor to a more streamlined industry-wide process that all interested parties can develop collaboratively.”

Dean Marks, EVP, deputy general counsel, and chief of global content protection for the MPAA, wrote in a blog post that the Donuts partnership — and a similar one announced in May with Radix, a Dubai-based domain name registry operator — ensures that piracy sites are held accountable, without taking down sites that may be legitimate.

“We share Donuts’ enthusiasm and positive evaluation of the constructive and cooperative voluntary relationship that we are building together,” Marks wrote. “Furthermore, we share the same hope for future collaboration with more operators of domain name registries and registrars.”