MPAA sues two video download websites

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MUMBAI: The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA), on behalf of the major Hollywood movie studios, filed lawsuits in federal court in Los Angeles yesterday against Cinematube.net and Ssupload.com – web sites that facilitate copyright infringement on the Internet.

Sites like Cinematube and Ssupload contribute to and profit from rampant copyright infringement by identifying, posting, organizing, and indexing links to infringing content found on the Internet that users can then view on-demand by visiting these illegal sites.

“No matter how you slice it, the sole purpose of these sites is to disseminate and profit from creative content that has been illegally reproduced and distributed. We will continue to scour the Internet for these illegal sites, and through lawsuits such as these we are putting illegal Web operators on notice that they are not above the law and will face serious consequences for their activities,” said MPAA executive vice president and director of worldwide anti-piracy operations John Malcolm.

Cinematube and Ssupload both highlight on their sites the availability of the latest in pirated movies that are all too often still in theatrical release. Both sites enjoy significant profits via third party advertisers and user donations. It is estimated that Cinematube – believed to be operated by Georgia resident Tien Tran – averages more than 24,000 unique users per day who view more than 85,000 pages of content. Ssupload – whose servers are located in Scottsdale, Ariz. – averages an estimated 55,000 unique daily visitors who view over 190,000 pages of content per day.

Civil lawsuits were filed against Cinematube and Ssupload in United States District Court in Los Angeles for damages and injunctive relief for violations under the United States Copyright Act of 1976. Yesterday’s filings follow three lawsuits filed by the studios against similar sites earlier this summer: Peekvid.com, YouTVpc.com and Showstash.com. The worldwide motion picture industry, including foreign and domestic producers, distributors, theaters, video stores and pay-per-view operators lost $18.2 billion in 2005 as a result of piracy –over $7 billion of which is attributed to Internet piracy and more than $11 billion attributed to hard goods piracy including bootlegging and illegal copying.