The Office of the US Trade Representative requested information about markets for piracy outside of the United States and, thanks to the Motion Picture Association of America, they have received quite a list.
A letter to Kira Alvarez, Chief Negotiator and Deputy Assistant for Intellectual Property Enforcement at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, from Bob Pisano, Interim CEO and President of the MPAA, included a detailed list of major torrent, Usenet, and hosting websites where users are able to access illegal copies of films.
“MPAA supports USTR’s efforts to identify foreign notorious markets. These markets are an immediate threat to legitimate commerce, impairing legitimate markets’ viability and curbing U.S. competitiveness,” Pisano says in the letter. “We strongly support efforts by the US government to work with trading partners to protect and enforce intellectual property rights and, in so doing, protect U.S. jobs.”
Pisano’s list includes some of the top torrent sites around the world including BTjunkie, Demonoid, isoHunt, KickAssTorrents and The Pirate Bay. Listed file-hosters include MegaUpload and RapidShare, along with Usenet site UseNext. All include a paragraph-length description about why they made it to the list.
For example, the description for Swedish site Kickasstorrents.com includes the following description:
“This BitTorrent portal has a commercial look and feel that could deceive users into thinking it is legitimate. It has been gaining popularity since 2009. The site is hosted by Sweden’s Dedicated Network, Luxembourg’s Root, and France’s OVH. This infrastructure creates redundancy to defend against successful litigation, raids or other actions that may threaten the service. Its current Alexa ranking is 457 and it appears to offer access to 8.1 million torrent files.”
It’s not yet clear when or how the US government intends to take action against the services listed as threats to the MPAA. It may take some time for anything to happen since these services are all on foreign soil, but it’s pretty obvious that the government is plotting and scheming and will likely hatch a plan soon. Stay tuned.