Netflix and Disney ask for help from the European Union to fight illegal free streaming

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Hollywood heavyweights Netflix and Disney+ are begging the European Union to help fight free and illicit flows of their biggest shows, blockbusters and documentaries. The streaming giants are represented by the Motion Picture Association (MPA), which includes a number of Hollywood studios.

The MPA has long led the charge against online piracy, helping to launch initiatives to take down hundreds of websites in recent years that have helped broadcast illegal free live streams, distribute torrent downloads and provide access illicit IPTV (internet protocol television) services. And as the MPA continues its ongoing efforts to crack down on piracy, it is now turning to the EU for further assistance.

The plea for help comes ahead of the publication of the Counterfeit and Piracy Watch-List report by EU bureaucrats. This annual report is designed to highlight the websites that pose the greatest threat to rightsholders.

As you can imagine, the MPA has many suggestions for websites the EU should put in its sights, with a range of illegal hacking portals mentioned which are used by millions of people, the blog reported. obsessed with Torrent Freak piracy.

For several years, illegal IPTV services have been a focus of concern for the MPA as well as the anti-piracy coalition Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) to which it is affiliated.

For those unaware, IPTV services offer television content streamed over an internet connection. There are examples of legal IPTV services, the most notable in the UK being Sky’s contract-free NOW product.

But invariably, IPTV services are illegal products that bundle illicit access to content found on streaming services such as Prime Video, Netflix, Disney Plus as well as paid premium TV content like access to broadcast Premier League matches on Sky Sports – all offered for one low price much cheaper than paying for all of these services legally.

If this sounds like you, just be aware that accessing these services – as well as downloading torrents or browsing streaming websites to watch any copyrighted content for free – is against the law.

Among the biggest offenders, the MPA highlighted BIPTV.best and BestBuyIPTV.store.

Based in Vietnam, these illegal IPTV services are popular in Europe, with the service reportedly offering illicit access to over 10,000 channels as well as a library of over 19,000 box sets and on-demand movies.

Looking at websites that offer illegal streaming, the most popular piracy portal was Egy.best.

This Egypt-based website seemed to have been shut down in 2019, but has since made a comeback and receives nearly 167 million visitors per month.

In its report, the MPA stated that “Egy.best will soon become the most popular and widespread of all pirate services globally”.

While when it comes to torrent websites, the biggest offender in the MPA’s sights is 1337.to, whose website recently became inaccessible after the domain expired.

Speaking about this popular torrent download website, MPA said, “1337x.to is one of the highest ranked and most visited pirate sites in European countries according to data from SimilarWeb. The site received 71, 80 million visits from almost 10 million unique visitors in November 2021, according to data from SimilarWeb. 1337x.to has been blocked in many European countries, including Italy, Spain and Belgium.”

Outlining what it would like the EU to do to help, the MPA highlighted three key points in the fight against piracy.

These are the following…

Platforms must take proactive measures to prevent the availability of infringing content

Platforms should have a clear obligation to verify the identity of all their professional clients and to ensure that the contact details provided are up to date and accurate (online transparency)

Intermediaries must take adequate steps to ensure that their services are not used to facilitate infringement by ceasing to provide their services (access, hosting, search, advertisements, domain names, proxies, etc.) to infringing services or services that have failed to meet verification requirements

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