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MPAA Sues Two Movie Streaming Sites
June 27, 2007
Thomas Mennecke
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The MPAA announced today it has filed lawsuits against two web based movie streaming sites, YouTVpc.com and Peekvid.com, in Federal Court. Most of the MPAA's legal enforcement has taken place against P2P and BitTorrent related communities, which are notoriously more difficult to knock off line. LokiTorrent, EliteTorrents and The Pirate Bay's destinies have all been influenced by the movie industry in one form or another, with varying levels of success.

Web based indexing or hosting has long been considered a highly dangerous venture, with costly litigation a near guarantee. Just ask AllofMP3.com, who has been battling for survival against the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) for over a year. With the MPAA's relatively successful track record in copyright enforcement, surely no one readily streams Hollywood or theatrical run movies for the entire world to see, right?

Welcome YouTVpc.com and Peekvid.com. YouTVpc.com and Peekvid.com stream various amounts of media; however videos appear to be their main focus. YouTVpc.com is the more daring of the two, as it readily streams theatrical titles such as "Pirates of the Caribbean 3" and "Shrek the Third." YouTVpc's videos are streamed from servers located throughout the world, as it does not host any files.

Peekvid.com's collection is mostly of older movies, and indexes no theatrical run films. Apparently the legal impact against sites like LokiTorrent and EliteTorrents, who indexed movie torrents on the BitTorrent network, had no influence on the decision making process of the site's owners. This made for easy prey for the MPAA.

“The sole purpose of these sites is to disseminate content that has been illegally reproduced and distributed. They are a one-stop shop for copyright infringement. These lawsuits should serve as a warning to other aspiring movie theft ‘entrepreneurs’ that they are not above the law and will face serious consequences for their activities. Profiting from the theft of other people’s creative works is illegal and must be stopped,” said John Malcolm, Executive Vice President and Director of Worldwide Anti-Piracy Operations for the MPAA.

The fragility of web based distribution is so apparent that hardly anyone considers this a viable enterprise - especially in the United States. The MPAA took note that both sites are quite popular as Peekvid "averages over 53,000 unique users per day who view over 184,000 pages of content. YouTVpc – whose servers are located in Scottsdale, Arizona - averages more than 6,000 unique daily visitors who view over 21,000 pages of content per day." Additionally, the MPAA noticed the abundance of advertising. To the movie industry, this means YouTVpc.com and Peekvid.com are profiting at their expense.

Neither site responded to Slyck's request for comment, and the legal justification for operating such a site is currently unknown. LokiTorrent or EliteTorrents could argue they only indexed torrent files of material existing on the BitTorrent network. With these two sites, although movies stream from other locations, the film is watchable via a flash player directly on either site. If LokiTorrent's and ElieteTorrent's impressive threshold for legal justification was dismissed, YouTVpc.com and Peekvid.com might find their business model in trouble.


This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Entertainment Industry :: MPAA
Legal/Courtroom :: Other Lawsuits

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