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    MPA Targets Pirate Streaming Sites With More Than Half a Billion Visits / TorrentFreak · Monday, 12 April, 2021 - 18:42 · 5 minutes

MPA The world’s major movie and TV show studios are in fierce competition, aiming to release the next blockbuster or series to capture the imaginations of the public and generate much needed revenue.

Industry counterparts are rivals in that respect but when it comes to dealing with piracy, especially when that propagates from hundreds if not thousands of unlicensed streaming platforms, teamwork is the key.

Through their global coalition, Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), rivalries become partnerships, with resources shared to disrupt and destroy sites that dare to offer free movies and TV shows to the public.

ACE Homes in On Several Major Streaming Platforms

Investigations into pirate sites take place in the shadows, with little outward sign that a streaming platform is under investigation until it’s too late. However, there is a “canary in the coal mine” that can reveal early signs that legal or other enforcement action might not be far away.

In legal terms, the DMCA subpoena application is a straightforward and cheap-to-file legal document yet it has the power to yield crucial information when building a case against pirate site operators. Late last week ACE and the MPA went to court in the United States with such a request, one that targets several streaming platforms with well over half a billion views per year.

Cloudflare: Weak Link or Useful Proxy?

With so many pirate platforms using Cloudflare, the company has become a go-to point of contact for ACE and the MPA. An application for a DMCA subpoena filed by the groups late Friday in a California court shows that at least in theory, Cloudflare could be in a position to give up valuable information.

Listing sample infringements of movies including Almost Christmas, 47 Ronin, Varsity Blues, Forrest Gump and Flashdance, ACE and the MPA are now seeking to identify the operators of Lookmovie, Watchmovie, YesMovies, Himovies and Adfah.

Say them quickly and the domains don’t sound like they would amount to much but together they account for well over half a billion ‘pirate’ views every year.

The Targeted Domains is by far the most popular domain on the list. From a standing start last October, the platform captured a million visits in just a month. By December, that figure had risen to just shy of 15 million.

By March 2021 the site was pulling in 18m visits per month – a potential 216 million per year – with around 30% of its traffic hailing from the United States. Interestingly, is not blocked by ISPs in the United Kingdom as similar platforms usually are, meaning that almost 14% of its traffic now comes from the region. appears to be an alternative domain for, a domain blocked in Australia due to legal action in 2019 .

In traffic terms, has also been on the rise. Last October the domain was good for around five million visits per month but by last month, that had risen to just short of 12.5 million, around 150 million visits per year. The domain has seen traffic increase from all major regions recently, with the United States accounting for around 19% of views.


In common with, is doing well in the UK, where traffic share is as high as the United States after recently receiving a 35% boost. The site, which is branded on-site as WatchSeries, is not blocked by ISPs so until that situation changes, UK visitors are likely to increase.

Interestingly, data available from SimilarWeb relating to the site’s display advertising lists several ad companies but one in particular stands out. While potentially very small, – a prominent ACE and MPA member – is listed as a publisher.


Generating around 9.2 million visits per month, is another streaming platform being eyed by MPA and ACE for some kind of legal or enforcement action.

Its traffic has see-sawed for the past six months but in most regions traffic is on the increase, including in the United Kingdom where the site is not blocked by ISPs.


Since there have been so many sites using YesMovies branding, it’s not straightforward to link this domain to the many others previously and currently in operation. However, YesMovies domains have been targeted in numerous earlier actions, including in the United States and Australia .

The final sites listed on the MPA and ACE subpoena are and The former is currently enjoying around 6.25 million visits per month according to SimilarWeb, with the latter pulling in close to 6.2 million. Both are most popular in the United States but also in the United Kingdom too, where are neither are currently subjected to ISP blocking.

ACE and MPA Subpoena Demands Action From Cloudflare

“The ACE Members (via the Motion Picture Association, Inc.) are requesting issuance of the attached proposed subpoena that would order Cloudflare, Inc. to disclose the identities, including names, physical addresses, IP addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, payment information, account updates and account histories of the users operating the websites listed [above],” the DMCA subpoena application reads.

Precisely what the applicants want to do with the information is unclear at this stage but we have seen in the past that in addition to direct legal action, sites listed in DMCA subpoenas can later appear in applications for ISP blocking in the UK.

After previously demanding in a similar DMCA subpoena that Cloudflare should hand over the personal details behind several 123Movies-branded sites, the domains appeared in a High Court injunction and were subsequently blocked by the UK’s leading ISPs in February .

Over the past several years Cloudflare has been heavily criticized for allowing its services to be used by pirate sites, particularly operations such as The Pirate Bay. The argument is that the CDN service should part company with infringing sites but to date, Cloudflare has dismissed its role as that of a simple intermediary.

The ACE/MPA DMCA subpoena documents can be found here and here (pdf)

Photo Credit: Chris Yang

From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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    Anti-Piracy Coalition Continues to Unmask .To Pirate Sites, But is it Effective? / TorrentFreak · Tuesday, 12 January, 2021 - 20:12 · 2 minutes

pirate-flag Over the past year, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) added a new tool to its anti-piracy toolbox.

The coalition, which represents prominent members including major Hollywood studios, Netflix, Amazon, and other entertainment giants, started using DMCA subpoenas to unmask pirate site operators.

These subpoenas are relatively easy to obtain. They are not reviewed by a judge but are signed off by a court clerk. This makes it a pretty straightforward process that’s not very costly either.

ACE Subpoenas .To Registry

ACE’s enforcement campaign is led by the MPA and their subpoenas are mostly targeted at two service providers. The first is CDN provider Cloudflare, and the second is Tonic Domains Corp , which is the registry for .to domain names.

A few days ago the MPA obtained a new subpoena from a California federal court, asking the domain registry to share information relating to the domains,,,,,,,, and

Cinecalidad is probably one of the largest targets. The streaming site, whose .to domain currently redirects to an .is domain, is among the largest pirate streaming sites in Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, and Mexico.

Names, IP-address and More

Through the subpoena, the anti-piracy coalition asks Tonic to disclose information including names, physical addresses, IP addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, payment information, account updates, and account history associated with the domain registrants.

subpoena tonic

While .to is the top-level domain of the island kingdom of Tonga, the Tonic registry operates through Tonic Domains Corp., which has a U.S. presence and a California address. As such, it falls under the jurisdiction of US courts.

This means that Tonic Domains Corp will likely hand over the requested info. However, it’s unclear how effective this will be. If we look at some of the earlier subpoenas obtained by the MPA and ACE, the results are mixed.

Mixed Results

For example, last October the anti-piracy coalition obtained a subpoena to uncover the operators of the streaming giant Despite this effort, the site continues to operate as usual from the same domain name.

The same applies to,,,,,,,,, and several other domains. These were targeted in the past but remain available today.

In some cases, site operators have decided to move to a new domain name, likely as a precaution. That is also the case with Cinecalidad.

Finally, there are some sites that simply ‘disappeared’. While it’s hard to be sure that ACE’s enforcement efforts are tied to this, it certainly played a role in some cases, including the shutdown of a few weeks ago.

The effectiveness of the subpoenas mostly depends on how actionable the information obtained from the Tonic registry proves to be. Many site owners will take measures to protect their identities, which makes it possible for them to continue business as usual. Those who don’t are in trouble.

A copy of ACE/MPA’s latest subpoena request is available here (pdf) .

From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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    MPA Hits MediaBox HD on Github: “Massive” Movie & TV Show Piracy / TorrentFreak · Saturday, 28 November, 2020 - 11:53 · 4 minutes

MPA logo Preventing the general public from accessing movies and TV shows without paying for them is a monumental task that, if anything, feels even more difficult than it was 15 years ago.

In addition to hundreds, perhaps thousands of torrent and streaming sites, copyright holders also have to deal with the growing threat of premium IPTV, which grants access to every type of live TV under the sun for comparatively low prices.

Somewhere in the middle of this organized chaos, movie and TV show companies are trying to tackle pirate apps. Mostly Android and iOS-based, these consumer-friendly tools present content in easy-to-navigate interfaces, pulling content from not just their own sources but in many cases third-party file-hosting and IPTV/streaming suppliers, much as other pirate sites do too.

MediaBox HD Targeted By The MPA

One of the more popular tools in this growing niche is MediaBox HD. Available for both Android and iOS, the app is in demand by those looking to access premium content on their phones or, as is increasingly the case, a tablet or Android-based set-top box.

MediaBox HD

MediaBox HD’s popularity lies in its many features. Aside from a large free library of movies and TV shows, it supports services such as Real-Debrid for more reliable streaming, has Chromecast support, can offer subtitles and even allows for offline viewing. For groups like the MPA, however, these are all reasons to take the app down.

MPA Sends Copyright Complaint to Github

While MediaBox HD has its own site , at the time of writing it’s impossible to access the Android variant of its app from there. Rather than hosting the APK in the same location, the app’s developers chose to host the software on Github instead, meaning it was vulnerable to an easy takedown.

Teaming up under the banner of the Motion Picture Association (MPA), Paramount, Sony, Universal, Warner, Disney and Netflix, sent a copyright complaint to Github, calling on the platform to remove the piracy-facilitating software.

“We are writing to notify you of, and request your assistance in addressing, the extensive copyright infringement of motion pictures and television shows that is occurring by virtue of the operation of the APK software Mediabox HD, which is hosted on and available for download from your repository,” it reads.

“Specifically, at the URL, the Repository hosts and offers for download the APK, which in turn is used to engage in massive infringement of copyrighted motion pictures and television shows.”

MPA Demands Removal of MediaBox HD Under the DMCA

Attached to the MPA’s complaint but unpublished by Github, the movie and TV show group provides screenshots that claim to show that MedaBox HD streams copyrighted content to the masses resulting in “massive infringement.”

While providing various examples of alleged infringement, the MPA says that these are just the tip of the iceberg since the software goes much further by blatantly infringing other content owned by its members and copyrights held by others.

On this basis, the MPA states that infringement is “plainly is its predominant use and purpose”, citing case law including the MGM v Grokster litigation (2005), the Arista Records v Usenet dispute from 2005, and the 2009 lawsuit between Columbia Pictures and former isoHunt operator Gary Fung.

The MPA suggests that it doesn’t really mind on which basis Github removes the app, whether that’s under the DMCA’s takedown provisions, repeat infringer rules, or Github’s acceptable use policy. Interestingly, however, it does note that it is not trying to claim that the app’s code is copyright-infringing, merely that its sole purpose is to infringe.

“Please note that, by this notice, the MPA Members are not addressing copyright ownership of the APK’s specific lines of code; rather, they are addressing the use of the APK as a whole to provide unauthorized, infringing access to streaming video content, and requesting that you remove or disable access to the APK as a whole on your Repository,” the notice adds.

Github Complied With the Request

Unlike the dispute currently engulfing youtube-dl, which has put Github at odds with the RIAA , there appears to be no such confusion here. Following the request from the MPA, Github removed the MediaBox HD app and, as a result, the software is no longer available from official sources.

While MediaBox HD will likely solve this problem in due course, the attention from the MPA comes after the streaming software was featured in two earlier legal matters.

In September 2019, following a subpoena from the makers of the movie Hellboy, third-party app-store TweakBox took the decision to remove MediaBox HD (plus Popcorn Time and CotoMovies) from its platform.

A month earlier, a Pakistani man who operated a site that offered MediaBox HD, Showbox, Popcorn Time and similar software, agreed to pay a settlement of $150,000 to companies behind the movies The Hitman’s Bodyguard, London Has Fallen and Hunter Killer.

His site, the now-defunct, was forced to remove MediaBox HD and similar tools, despite not being their developer. The MPA hasn’t yet shown any public signs of seeking a settlement from the developers of MediaBox HD but given past history, that might only be a matter of time.

From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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    Unmask 25 Pirate Site Owners: ACE/MPA Piles Pressure On Tonic Registry / TorrentFreak · Saturday, 14 November, 2020 - 22:31 · 4 minutes

ACE logo Every year the MPA and RIAA respond to a request from the Office of the US Trade Representative to submit their recommendations for the annual “notorious markets” list.

In many cases, the industry groups choose to nominate the world’s most popular pirate sites and services for a mention, including but not limited to The Pirate Bay, YTS, RarBG, 1337x, and Popcorn Time, for example.

More recently, however, the MPA and RIAA have begun mentioning ancillary companies that in their judgment are not necessarily pirate services in themselves but due to their provision of systems and infrastructure, are in a position to act affirmatively to reduce the effectiveness of pirate sites.

As reported this week, the MPA and RIAA has now chosen to nominate domain name companies and services including the Njalla privacy service associated with Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde and the Tonic domain registry that is often favored by pirate services.

Pressure Has Been Building on Tonic Domain Registry

In September, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), the global anti-piracy coalition made up of the major Hollywood studios, Netflix, Amazon, and dozens of other companies, obtained a DMCA subpoena compelling Tonic to hand over information held on major pirate sites including The Pirate Bay, YTS, 1337x, EZTV, Seasonvar, Tamilrockers, Lordfilms, and many others.

A month later, ACE was back in court again, this time obtaining a DMCA subpoena requiring Tonic to hand over information held on massive Germany-focused streaming site

The dust had barely settled when ACE returned to court once again, obtaining another subpoena forcing Tonic to give up the identities of the people behind torrent giant (again), streaming site,,,,,, plus many more.

Back Once Again With Yet Another Demand For Information

It’s unclear exactly how many pirate sites utilize .to domains for their operations but ACE clearly sees the registry’s involvement as part of their infrastructure as a problem when it comes to its enforcement actions. As a result, a DMCA subpoena ACE obtained in recent days from a California court lists two dozen problematic platforms for which it seeks additional information.

The majority of the domains are focused on streaming movies and TV shows, with sites including Lordfilm, Ymovies, Pelis24, Series24, HDGo, HDSS, Flixtor, Soap2Day and Solarmovie all getting a prominent mention.

Also present in the demand for information is a selection of popular torrent indexes such as TorrentGalaxy, Monova, and Glodls. These make an appearance alongside sites operating in different niches such as popular Germany-focused piracy forum Boerse and proxy-centric platform Unblocked. DDL-Warez is also featured in the subpoena but at the time of writing appears to be down.

Sites Infringe Copyrights in Popular Movies and TV Shows

Along with each site is a claim that they infringed rights in a specific movie or TV show. These include the movies Frozen II, Dolittle, Wonder Woman, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Beautiful Boy, Bird Box, Triple Frontier, and Scoob! In the cases of Series 24 and Flixtor, both stand accused of illegally offering the first episode in the TV series Watchmen.

The application was filed by Jan van Voorn, Executive Vice President and Chief of Global Content Protection for the Motion Picture Association.

“The ACE Members (via the Motion Picture Association, Inc.) are requesting issuance of the attached proposed subpoena that would order Tonic Domains Corporation to disclose the identities, including names, physical addresses, IP addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, payment information, account updates and account histories of the users operating the websites [listed below],” it reads.

A letter to Tonic Domains attached to the subpoena repeats a similar message.

ACE DMCA to Tonic

At the same time, ACE also obtained a second DMCA subpoena claiming that the linking site infringed its members’ copyrights in the movies Beauty and the Beast and It Chapter Two. The claim is that connects users of the popular ‘ Watched ‘ mobile application to cyberlockers containing infringing content so, as a result, its operator’s details should be handed over.

The anti-piracy coalition lists a number of sites where the movies were hosted including,,,,,, and, but these sites don’t appear to be direct targets in the subpoena.

Documents supporting the DMCA subpoenas can be found here 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 (pdf)

List of Domains and Main Use (Both Subpoenas) – streaming – down – piracy forum – streaming – streaming – streaming – streaming ( alternate) – torrents – proxy site – torrents – DDL/streaming – streaming – streaming – streaming – streaming – DDL index – torrents – streaming – streaming – streaming – streaming – streaming – streaming – streaming (subpoena 2)

From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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    Hollywood, Netflix & Amazon Agree $40m Judgment With Pirate IPTV Provider Crystal Clear Media / TorrentFreak · Friday, 13 November, 2020 - 21:15 · 3 minutes

IPTV Back in August, members of the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), an anti-piracy coalition featuring the major Hollywood studios, Netflix, Amazon, and more than two dozen other companies, filed a lawsuit against US company TTKN Enterprises, LLC.

Better known online as IPTV service Crystal Clear Media (CCM), TTKN and owners Todd and Tori Smith of Florida were accused by Disney, Paramount, Amazon, Warner, Universal, Netflix, Columbia and StudioCanal of operating a pirate service providing access to thousands of live and title-curated television channels in breach of their copyrights.

“Blatantly Infringing Service”

Citing blockbusters including Disney’s Frozen II, Warner Bros’ Harry Potter collection, Columbia Picture’s Bad Boys for Life, and Universal’s Mr. Robot, the companies alleged that TTKN/CCM’s operators had gone to great lengths to hide their roles in an operation that had illegally streamed these titles and more to the public. Domains including,,,,,,,, and, were mentioned as supporting the operation.

Describing CCM as a “blatantly infringing service”, the entertainment companies noted that despite being acutely aware that rival service Vaders had previously come to an untimely end for similar actions at the hands of the same plaintiffs, CCM continued to provide an illegal VOD service to the public. Furthermore, the service also continued to expand its reach via a network of resellers.

“Defendants’ reseller program plays a pivotal role in their infringing enterprise. Defendants’ resellers market and promote CCM as a substitute for authorized and licensed distributors,” the lawsuit claimed.

Alleging willful direct copyright infringement, the plaintiffs demanded the maximum statutory damages of $150,000 per infringed work plus the same amount per work as a result of CCM inducing others by “encouraging, and promoting” the use of CCM for copyright infringement purposes.

Parties Reach Settlement Agreement

While these kinds of cases have the potential to roll on for some time, it transpires the plaintiffs and TTKN/CCM plus named defendants Todd and Tori Smith have agreed to settle their dispute. The agreement was reached on November 2, 2020, and as a result, they are together asking the court to sign off on a judgment in favor of the plaintiffs, awarding a permanent injunction and damages.

In respect of the injunction, the defendants comprehensively agree not to distribute any copyrighted content owned by the plaintiffs or their subsidiaries in any manner, including via streaming. All operations of Crystal Clear Media must be completely shut down within five days of any injunction and its operators are barred from distributing or otherwise releasing any of its source code, domain names, trademarks and other assets.

“Defendants irrevocably and fully waive notice of entry of the Permanent Injunction, and understand and agree that violation of the Permanent Injunction will expose Defendant to all penalties provided by law, including contempt of Court,” it reads.

“Defendants consent to the continuing jurisdiction of the Court for purposes of enforcement of the Permanent Injunction, and irrevocably and fully waive and relinquish any argument that venue or jurisdiction by this Court is improper or inconvenient.”

Proposed Judgment Includes a Massive Damages Award

The original complaint included references to the now-defunct Vaders IPTV service that was also targeted by the same plaintiffs in a largely secret lawsuit in Canada. However, while the Vaders/Vader Streams matter ended in a $10 million damages award in favor of the studios, TTKN/CCM has agreed to pay substantially more than its former rival.

“Damages are awarded in favor of Plaintiffs and against Defendant TTKN Enterprises, LLC d/b/a Crystal Clear Media, in the total amount of forty million dollars ($40 million),” the proposed judgment reads.

While the proposed consent judgment and permanent injunction are yet to be signed off by Judge George H. Wu in a California court, the nature of the agreement means that is likely to be a formality in the days to come.

The proposed orders can be found here ( 1 , 2 , 3 pdf)

From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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    Movie & TV Giants Tell Court That Nitro IPTV Operator Destroyed & Withheld Evidence / TorrentFreak · Saturday, 22 August, 2020 - 20:11 · 4 minutes

IPTV This April, companies owned by Columbia, Amazon, Disney, Paramount, Warner, and Universal, sued ‘pirate’ IPTV service Nitro TV .

Filed in a California district court, the lawsuit accuses Alejandro Galindo, the supposed operator of Nitro TV, plus an additional 20 ‘Doe’ defendants, of massive copyright infringement.

While clearly referencing the service’s provision of live unlicensed TV channels, the suit focuses on Nitro’s VOD offering. i.e on-demand movies and TV shows plus the now-common 24/7 channels which continuously loop popular TV shows.

The lawsuit, potentially worth multiple millions in damages, quickly progressed and in May the entertainment companies obtained a preliminary court injunction to shut Nitro TV down. Since then the case has progressed, but not in the direction the plaintiffs might have hoped.

Galindo “Destroyed and Hid Evidence” During Discovery Process

In a motion filed this week, the plaintiffs – which form part of the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment – slam Galindo for his failure to cooperate with the discovery process, including hiding and destroying evidence while lying to conceal his alleged role in Nitro TV. They also accuse him of breaching the court injunction.

According to the motion, Galindo freely admits that he sold Nitro subscriptions to consumers but denies being the operator of the service. The entertainment companies say this is nonsense, adding that Galindo hasn’t “produced a single document or identified any of his partners or affiliates in his initial disclosures or verified interrogatory responses.”

According to Galindo, his business was run exclusively through messaging service Telegram which was configured to “self-destruct” messages after they were read. The movie and TV show companies aren’t buying that either.

Significant Financial and Electronic Trails

The motion notes that for Nitro TV to operate, that must involve the buying and selling of subscriptions and reseller credits. This results in a documented financial trail, regardless of whether Galindo was at the top of Nitro or acted somewhere lower in the reseller pyramid. Running such a business leaves an electronic trail, and it appears the plaintiffs have several inside tracks.

As an example, the entertainment companies identify a Richard Horsten as someone who worked with Galindo. The pair communicated via email, not just via “self-destructed” Telegram messages. The plaintiffs say that Galindo failed to identify Horsten in his interrogatory responses, including the fact that he paid him tens of thousands of dollars using an account in his wife’s name.

The plaintiffs also state that even after being put on notice of the action against him, Galindo continued to use Telegram for Nitro-related business while still allowing messages to “self-destruct”. He also deleted emails from his Gmail account. This, they claim, runs afoul of the requirement to preserve evidence as required by the court.

Violations of the Preliminary Injunction

After the court handed down its order early May, it’s alleged that Galindo failed to shut Nitro TV down. Then, when the plaintiffs tried to have the domain names of the Nitro service disabled as per the court’s instructions, they discovered that and had been transferred away from Namecheap and, which kept the service live.

In a response through his counsel, Galindo said that he couldn’t shut the service down because he was just a reseller. However, no evidence was presented to support that argument so the entertainment companies continued to obtain evidence on their own.

Mounting Evidence Supporting Plaintiffs’ Claims

After serving a subpoena on Google, they discovered that 1,500 emails had been deleted after Galindo was served on April 3, 2020. Email headers in some of those emails revealed communication with Horsten while hundreds of others were sent and received “from a number of different providers of services that facilitate the operation and sale of IPTV service.”

It was discovered that hundreds of others involved communication with payment processing company MoonClerk, which is alleged to have supported the reseller network for the Nitro TV service. Also deleted were 20+ emails related to Coinbase communications.

“[T]he very existence of many of these emails undermines Defendant’s claim that he is ‘just a reseller,’ as only operators, and not those who were merely selling subscriptions to end user subscribers, would need to communicate with many of these service providers (e.g., Xtream Codes, WHMCS),” the motion reads.

Server company FDCServers also confirmed it had an account under the name Martha Galindo, believed to be the defendant’s mother, using Alejandro Galindo’s email address.

On top, PayPal confirmed that payments of more than $30,000 had been paid to Horsten in the name of Anna Galindo, Alejandro Galindo’s wife. An unnamed third-party “involved in Nitro” said that more than $40,000 had been paid to that party through Anna Galindo, Martha Galindo, and an email associated with TekkHosting.

Plaintiffs Request Orders to Prevent Destruction of Evidence and More

Given the lack of confidence in Galindo’s cooperation thus far, the movie and TV show companies are now demanding orders requiring evidence preservation, forensic imaging of all of the defendant’s electronic devices, and an order requiring Google to “deliver and divulge” the contents of his Gmail account covering the period January 2015 to July 2020.

The motion and proposed orders can be found here ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 pdf)

From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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    Area 51 Mystery Solved: Pirate IPTV Service Was Shut Down By ACE & MPA / TorrentFreak · Wednesday, 19 August, 2020 - 18:49 · 4 minutes

Area 51 Running in their own niche alongside traditional streaming portals and torrent sites , pirate IPTV services have, over the past several years, become the “next big thing” in online piracy.

With relatively humble roots there are now seemingly hundreds of suppliers, some near the top of the tree with others simply rebranded versions of similar services. It’s reportedly a billion-dollar business in the United States alone but one service that recently stopped adding to that tally was Area 51.

Area 51 Announces its Shutdown

In late June, customers of Area 51 began receiving emails with the sender marked as ‘’, denoting one of the streaming platform’s official domains. It revealed that after several years of active service, Area 51 would be shutting down.

“We have been forced to make this very difficult decision, and close Area 51. We had quite a run, and we wouldn’t have been able to do it without customers like you,” the email began.

With little other information available through public channels, speculation that the service may have run into legal trouble wasn’t far away. However, when pirate IPTV platforms disappear, they usually do so fairly tidily, but that wasn’t the case here.

The email from Area 51 indicated that another “amazing company” called Outer Limits would be taking over all of Area 51’s customer accounts, suggesting that subscriptions wouldn’t simply be lost. Indeed, former Area 51 clients were told to log into the Outer Limits site ( with their current client area login credentials.

Resurrections/Rebranding Don’t Sit Well With Copyright Holders

Soon after, customers received another email, again from Area 51. This gave more information, stating that some of the team had decided to “move on to other ventures” while some had “just decided to focus more on our families.” However, earlier references to using Outer Limits were gone, replaced with a new brand purportedly taking over – Singularity Media.

“Hello and welcome to Singularity Media. We have taken over your account from your existing IPTV provider,” an email from the provider to its new customers explained.

“Your account remains the same and we are now looking after it for you. This means your logins remain the same.”

The announcement was certainly curious. If Area 51 had been subjected to legal threats from any credible entertainment anti-piracy group, directing customers to a new pirate service would be forbidden under the terms of any agreement following a normal cease-and-desist order.

So, given the rumors that some or all of the Area 51 team may have been personally served with orders to shut down, it wasn’t really a surprise when reports surfaced days later that Singularity Media would be shutting down too. Its URL is still dead but we can now reveal that Area 51 was indeed subjected to legal threats.

Domains Seized By the Alliance For Creativity and Entertainment

Area 51 operated various aspects of its service from several domains, including In addition to being identified as the sender of the ‘shutdown’ email, this domain acted as a sales portal for Area 51, offering packages at $10 per month up to a yearly subscription of $120.

Area 51 Plans

After almost two months of uncertainty, we now confirm that the ownership of this domain has now been transferred from the Area 51 team and into the hands of the MPA which represents the major Hollywood studios and Netflix.

As previously reported on numerous occasions, including the shutdown of the Vaders service , when the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment arranges for a domain to be seized, it is transferred to the custody of the MPA.

< Area 51 domain

We can also confirm that at least two other domains previously operated by Area 51 are also in the hands of the MPA, including and The latter, a reference to ‘the UFO repo’, was deployed by Area 51 as a repository to host various APKs and plug-ins used to access the service.

A Simple Shutdown – Or Will the Area 51 Mystery Continue to Unfold?

In common with its Nevada-based namesake, the now-confirmed shutdown of Area 51 has the potential to fuel more conspiracy theories. The big question, of course, is whether this matter is now over as far as the massive global anti-piracy coalition ACE is concerned or if there’s more action to come.

One only has to look at the sudden shut down of the Vaders IPTV service last year and the official announcement, arriving months later, that revealed that Vaders’ operators had agreed to pay ACE members $10m in damages . Whether that will be repeated here remains a mystery.

At this stage, it’s hard to say precisely what aspect of the Area 51 service was focused on by ACE lawyers but given recent lawsuits, including one against Clear View Media first reported by TF last week , Area 51’s VOD offering seems a likely candidate.

From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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    GitHub Takes Down Pirate Streaming App &#8216;King Club&#8217; Following MPA Complaint / TorrentFreak · Wednesday, 19 August, 2020 - 09:59 · 2 minutes

kingclub With 40 million users and over 100 million code repositories, GitHub is the largest online developer platform of its kind.

The site is used by individual coders and large organizations to host visually any piece of code imaginable. In addition, GitHub pages can also be used as a hosting service for websites.

While most projects are perfectly legitimate, there are some that attract negative attention. Every week, GitHub receives dozens of takedown notices from copyright holders who claim that their content is published or linked to without permission.

These complaints are often about copied code, but every now and then projects are accused of providing access to copyright-infringing content as well. This is what happened to the Android app “King Club X” which was hosted on GitHub .

king club

King Club is a typical pirate app that scrapes third-party sources for movies and TV-shows, which are then made available to users through an intuitive interface. The app is not available in the official Google Play store but can be installed directly through the APK package.

MPA Targets King Club X

By advertising itself as the “best app to watch unlimited movies & tv-shows for free,” King Club attracted the attention of the MPA, which represents the major Hollywood studios and Netflix. The organization sees the app as a blatant pirate tool and asked GitHub to take action .

“King Club X – your customer – blatantly infringes the MPA Member Studios’ copyrights and countless other copyrights. Indeed, copyright infringement is so prevalent on King Club X that infringement plainly is its predominant use and purpose,” the MPA’s complaint reads.

“By this notification, we are asking for your immediate assistance in stopping your customer’s unauthorized activity. Specifically, we request that you cease providing all supporting services to King Club X, by removing or disabling access to the infringing Website and removing the APK.”

GitHub Takes Action

This notice had the desired effect as the site, which was hosted through GitHub pages, now returns a 404 error. In addition, the linked APK file is gone as well.

The swift removal is a small victory for the MPA and its members. However, these types of apps are very common and often reappear elsewhere, using a different host or a different name. For example, King Club X was previously advertised as Cerebrix TV, which was hosted on GitHub as well.

In addition, the app’s developer also has the option to have the content restored by filing a DMCA counter-notice. This is what a popular Popcorn Time fork did a few weeks ago when the MPA targeted its repository , after which GitHub restored the project .

From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.