The recently released United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) annual 2016 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets — which identifies online and physical marketplaces worldwide that facilitate and engage in copyright piracy — had a lot of a familiar names on it, from The Pirate Bay to Putlocker.
But the report also had a few reasons to celebrate: several major and notorious piracy outlets online were scuttled during 2016, or made changes to their business model to deal with piracy. Kickass Torrents, one of the more popular and lucrative illegal piracy sites, was taken down by U.S. law enforcement. Torrentzt.EU shut down voluntarily. Cuevana.TV, Solarmovie.is and Mp3skull.com all went offline after federal litigation in the U.S. And on Nov. 16, Ukraine’s biggest file-hosting website EX.UA, announced it will cease operations.
“Tens of millions of American jobs and several trillion dollars of our gross domestic product rely on American creative and innovative industries,” said ambassador and U.S. trade rep. Michael Froman. “Our Notorious Markets List highlights key examples of online and physical markets all over the world that are linked to significant infringement of American businesses’ intellectual property rights. The 2016 List takes stock of emerging infringement models and adds stream-ripping sites and piracy apps to the list of the most damaging digital marketplaces.”
However, in a statement, Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), struck a cautious tone in response to the report: “[The] USTR report makes clear, piracy undermines America’s creative economy and our nation’s global competitiveness. We commend the USTR for highlighting this ever-evolving threat that impacts the livelihoods of so many American workers.
“The American film and television industry is a key driver of the U.S. economy and one of the most highly competitive industries in the world. It employs nearly two million U.S. workers, pays out more than $121 million in wages, generates $16.3 billion in exports, and registers a positive trade balance with nearly every country around the world.”
And several major online piracy outlets can still be found operating, and costing the industry each day: cyberlocker site 4shared.com, mobile app BeeVideo.TV, highly popular piracy site ExtraTorrent, major piracy operator MovShare Group (NowVideo.SX, WatchSeriesFree.TO, VideoWeed.ES, NovaMov.com, NowDownload.CH, DivStafe.TO and MovShare.net) comtinues to operate at will, and Putlocker, The Pirate Bay and Upload.net remain highly popular around the world.