ACE / MPA target pirate sites attracting 1.3 billion visits per year, including EZTV * TorrentFreak
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DMCA summons can be a powerful weapon for entertainment companies looking to identify operators of pirate sites. The Creativity and Entertainment Alliance and its MPA partners were back in court recently, demanding access to the identities of the people behind the major torrent site EZTV and several other platforms with over 1.3 billion annual visits in total.
The global entertainment coalition Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment is engaged in perhaps one of the most ambitious anti-piracy operations the Internet has ever seen.
The group, which counts major Hollywood studios, Netflix, Amazon and dozens of major content creators among its members, has made numerous high-profile withdrawals. Streaming platforms, IPTV providers, file hosting platforms, and torrent-related entities have all been targeted, but this is just the tip of a really big iceberg.
At the time of writing, ACE and its partners the MPA have seized more than 200 domain names connected to pirate services, large and small, a list that is growing every week. These foreclosures are often led by investigations that involve Cloudflare handing over credentials after receiving a DMCA subpoena.
As a result, a new pair of assignments obtained in recent days by ACE / MPA could give an indication of the sites and services that may soon be in the crosshairs.
Summons target sites with more than 1.3 billion annual visits
While ACE / MPA regularly targets small trades, it makes a lot of sense that large platforms get the most attention. The new pair of assignments covers a range of sites and when their traffic is combined it is clear why they are being targeted. The 23 domains listed in the subpoenas together attract more than 1.3 billion visits per year according to statistics from SimilarWeb.
Topping the list in terms of pure traffic with around 26.5 million hits per month is the torrent site EZTV.re. This index took eighth place in our 2021 report of the world’s most visited torrent sites. The TV-centric platform proudly displays the well-known EZTV brand, but the original team were forced to step down following a hostile takeover several years ago. It now appears that ACE / MPA are considering taking over their own business.
Had it not been for an unexplained drop in traffic over the past few months, KissAsian.li would have overtaken EZTV traffic in this latest batch of ACE / MPA assignments. However, after dropping 46 million visits per month in May, in July, the streaming site recorded “only” 24.7 million visits, the majority of that traffic coming from the Philippines. However, sites of this size are still of interest to the world’s biggest movie and TV show producers, so this drop in traffic keeps it on the radar.
Another big player, Olevod.com, appears to be on an upward trajectory. The service appears to cater to a large Chinese audience and recorded around 11.2 million visits in February. By July, however, traffic had climbed to nearly 19 million visits per month, a progress ACE / MPA will work to reduce. The same goes for Dandanzan.com, which also targets a Chinese audience and currently has around 5.7 million visits per month.
‘WatchSeries’ branded sites have always been a thorn in the side of film and TV companies and Watchseries.ninja is no different. The site appears to be losing popularity in recent months, but with 5.7 monthly visits in July, it remains a significant player.
Spanish and South American language sites
Hackstore.net is another high traffic site targeted in subpoenas. It currently enjoys around 10.2 million visits per month according to SimilarWeb, with 27% of that traffic coming from Mexico. Ironically perhaps, our attempts to access the site were thwarted by a blocking message from Cloudflare, but with over 125 million visits per year, the site is clearly of interest to entertainment companies.
With around 8.6 million visits per month, Cuevana2.io is next on the list and is a clear sign that ACE / MPA wants to complete a job that started a few months ago. Last May, ACE announced that it had won a major battle against the Cuevana-branded sites, which had dominated the pirate streaming arena in Latin America.
What ACE didn’t report, however, is that the most popular Cuevana domains, including Cuevana2.io and Cuevana3.io, were still active, attracting tens of millions of hits every month. Cuevana3 was targeted in a previous subpoena against Cloudflare and now Cuevana2 is also in the crosshairs.
Other Spanish-language and South American-focused sites include Assistirseriados.net (4.3 million) and Gofilmes.me (2.75 million) which are both popular in Brazil and Megadede.se (1.1 million ), popular in Spain. Fanpelis.org, Repelis24.info, Pelispe.com and Pelismegahd.pe total a few million hits and are all popular in Mexico.
Finally, there are a few dead or dying domains in the list. Pelisplus.movie had 20 million visits per month in February, but traffic has since fallen off a cliff. Hdfull.cx registered 3 million visits in February, but hardly nosedive anymore. Other sites with low traffic reports include Reboot.tube, Duboku.fun, and Embedforfree.co, although the latter may be larger than reports suggest.
The new ACE / MPA assignments against Cloudflare can be found here and here (pdf)