Hollywood Reportedly Gives Piracy Sites 24 Hours to Shut Down (Or Else)

The Hollywood trade group that lobbies for major movie studios has reportedly begun sending letters to European piracy sites, ordering them to shut down in a day's time or face… something. The Motion Picture Association of America's Euro branch is contacting the sites and telling them to "take effective measures to end and prevent further copyright infringement" within 24 hours, though no specific consequences are listed, according to a report by filesharing news site TorrentFreak.

The letters are apparently signed by Jan van Voorn, the MPA's vp of global content protection and internet operations. Written in a formal style, the notices cite existing European laws meant to guard against those who are "facilitating" copyright infringement, which "causes significant damage to the MPA Members and other creative industries."

Irish ISPs Forced to Adopt Three-Strikes Piracy Rule

According to the MPA, there exists legal precedent that since "you are already aware of the extensive infringements of copyright," the lobby group is compelled to "identify the illegal activities… and take appropriate measure against infringement."

"All opportunities provided by the Website to download, stream or otherwise obtain access to the Entertainment Content should be disabled permanently," the email says.

Whether the letters will work remains to be seen. According to TorrentFreak, only one of the contacted sites (micromkv.com) is thought to have shut themselves down since receiving the notice. (Read it in full here.)

Australia's Gov't Starts Clock on ISPs' Anti-Piracy Code

While the MPA's main objective appears to be halting the spread of pirated films and TV shows, it also includes a cease-and-desist on the unauthorized use of artwork on the sites. "Finally, we draw your attention that any use of the artwork of the Entertainment Content (e.g. movie or TV show posters) ('Artwork') is prohibited without authorization of the rights holder," it states. "Since the MPA Members haven't authorized the Website to publish the Artwork, the Website is infringing copyright on that basis as well."

In recent years, two of the world's biggest hosts of pirated content have either shut down or been hit with limits to access. The torrent site Pirate Bay remains active but is no longer accessible in many countries, including Australia, Sweden and the U.K., and streaming site Megaupload, whose founder Kim Dotcom is wanted by U.S. authorities, was shut down in 2012.


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