‘Netflix for pirates’ shut down by courts

WASHINGTON: Hollywood’s film trade group is hailing the shutdown of two online services used to circulate pirated copies of hit movies, including one that became known as ‘Netflix for pirates’.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) said legal action brought by its member studios had succeeded in shutting down the site Popcorn Time, which was likened to Netflix because of its easy user interface for pirated films.

MPAA said in a statement late Tuesday that court actions also shuttered YTS, a site for pirated editions using BitTorrent software. The trade group said a court order in Canada took down Popcorn Time and a separate proceeding in New Zealand closed YTS.

MPAA said the two sites “enabled acts of copyright infringement worldwide on a massive scale.”

Popcorn Time and YTS are illegal platforms that exist for one clear reason: to distribute stolen copies of the latest motion pictures and television shows without compensating the people who worked so hard to make them,” said Chris Dodd, MPAA’s chairman and chief executive.

“By shutting down these illegal commercial enterprises, which operate on a massive global scale, we are protecting not only our members’ creative work and the hundreds of innovative, legal digital distribution platforms, but also the millions of people whose jobs depend on a vibrant motion picture and television industry.”

The six member MPAA companies filed suit in Canada’s federal court against three key Canadian operators of Popcorn Time, which according to surveys had some 1.5 million visitors in July. The court issued an injunction on October 16 requiring the web operators to shut down Popcorn Time.

Source: AFP