In many countries “The Pirate Bay“ has been blocked. In Sweden the domain registration of thepiratebay.se could be withdrawn. So “The Pirate Bay” has lost many visits. Starting with 436 million visits in July 2014 they lost 35% of all visits until March 2015, which had 285.5 million visits.
Therefore “The Pirate Bay” is trying to distribute their customers across several alternative domains (e.g. thepiratebay.la).
According to data gathered from Similiar Web, only 9 of 46 domains are important (more than a million visits); nine domains had less than 500 visits per month.
|The Pirate Bay visits (data from similiarweb.com)
Proxies can be used to circumvent blocking measures. There are a many on Google, but we tested 267 and found data only for 161 proxies.
|Visits on The Pirate Bay-Proxys (similarweb)
|not enough data
Only 26 proxies had more than 100,000 visits in July and two with more than a million. Visits to proxies rose by 24% between March and July 2015 with 28,445,000 visits.
So the traffic to “The Pirate Bay” is still concentrated on a few sites.
The MPA (Motion Picture Association of America) has recommended safety measures to avoid the illegal distribution of movies. Amazon published these measures and Torrentfreak reports:
Spamhaus reports on German and Austrian Internet registries helping cybercriminals. Countless cybercrime pages are registered by Denic and Nic.at. Complaints are useless because both organizations say they are not liable. They only delete domain names by court order or if they violate their terms and conditions.
Unlike Austria and Germany, Switzerland and Russia have implemented appropriate mechanisms in their regulation or registrar agreements.
Most of the malicious domain names are registered through a German-based registrar called Key-Systems. Some of the reported domain names have been suspended, but now the registrar seems to be recommending that its customers move the domain name to a different registrar: “What we are now seeing within ccTLD .at is ridiculous: Several registrars, mostly German-based, are moving malicious domain names around between each other. Once you report a malicious domain name to one of these registrars, they will just transfer it to a different registrar.”
The German Supreme Court hears a landmark case concerning the blocking of websites which violate copyrights; the proclamation of the verdict will be on November 26th.
BGH I ZR 3/14 (Liability of access providers for copyright infringement of third parties)
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that banking institutions can not rely on banking secrecy when the owner of a trademark wants to know who the holder of a bank account is which has been used for paying counterfeit items.
In the initial case, the Stadtsparkasse Magdeburg refused to give information on the holder of the account.
This verdict supports rights holders who have paid for a counterfeit item and therefore the perpetrators account information is exposed.
In the case of copyright infringements on the Internet this is normally not the case because there are 3rd parties involved. Then the right to information is not enough. According to the Higher Regional Court of Cologne, the rights holder has no right to be informed about the uploaders bank account details.
[European Court, C-580/13, 16 July 2015]
On the judgment of the Higher Regional Court Cologne (OLG Köln):
If a registrar of a domain knows that there are untruthful statements on this website (and this is confirmed by the owner of the page) and he does not take action to prevent this, he is liable as a so-called „interferer“.
[LG Köln, 13.05.2014, Az. 28 O 11/15]
According to a verdict of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), an operator of a commercial online forum can be responsible for third party comments. If he does not remove offensive comments without delay, he has to pay damages:
“where third-party user comments are in the form of hate speech and direct threats to the physical integrity of individuals (…) the rights and interest of others and of society as a whole may entitle contracting states to impose liability on internet news portals, without contravening article 10 ECHR, if they fail to take measures to remove clearly unlawful comments without delay, even without notice from the alleged victim or from third parties” (Paragraph 159 of the Grand Chamber judgment)
Looking at this verdict you can assume that commercial hosters who do not take measures against illegal content have to fear damages in the near future.
With 1.5 million downloads in just eight hours the season finale of Game of Thrones has set a new piracy record.
The American „Digital Citizens Alliance“ has examined the annual ad revenue of piracy sites. They estimated the ad turnover to be of 209 million US $ (€ 188 million) per year; nearly as much as last years turnover of US $ 227 million. The study is based on almost 600 sites with a wealth of take-down notices at Google.
“Good Money Still Going Bad”
British Incopro conducted a study into the revenue sources for websites making available copyright content without consent in the EU. The report analyses the revenue sources for the 250 most popular websites accessible to users in key territories in the European Union (Germany, Spain, France, Italy and the United Kingdom):
A new American study shows that the blocking of 19 major piracy sites had a positive effect in Great Britain. The use of legal offers (such as Netflix) increased by an average of 12 %. The impact on the physical distribution of DVD and Blu-rays was not examined.
Also the „IFPI Digital Music Report 2015“ points out that the blocking of the main piracy pages is successful: In the UK, the number of visits to BitTorrent sites was reduced by 45% from April 2012 to April 2014.
Brett Danaher , Michael D. Smith , Rahul Telang , THE EFFECT OF PIRACY WEBSITE BLOCKING ON CONSUMER BEHAVIOR , May 2015
A study by the European Commission’s in-house science service states that the closure of the piracy site „kino.to“ had only short-term effects. The consumer switched to other illegal piracy portals.
This result is not groundbreaking; these facts had been known for a long time. But the authors conclusion that it is therefore not economically worthwhile to fight against piracy, is really embarrassing.
Such a conclusion, based on a single case, could damage their reputation as scientists. Furthermore, to evaluate the prosecution of crimes in an economic sense is questionable. No one would argue about stopping bank robbers been arrested, because there will always be another bank robber.
The study can be found at:
According to the news portal Tarnkappe, the new piracy portal hdfilme.org uses Google as a host for its streams. This is not the first case. Google’s German subsidiary was informed about hosting pirated streams in March 2014.