The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has reported that two websites which it claimed had jointly become a clearing-house for illegal movie viewing were closed in October by orders from courts in Canada and New Zealand.
The Popcorntime.io site, commonly referred to as Popcorn Time, was closed under an October 16 order from the Federal Court in Ottawa. YTS.to, a BitTorrent site whose films were often reached through Popcorn Time, was closed under an interim injunction in a separate suit filed on October 12 in the High Court of New Zealand.
Disclosure of the shutdown emerged after court documents in Canada were unsealed on Tuesday.
In recent days, industry observers had noted problems with the two sites. “This week has descended into an incredible mess for Popcorn Time, and the end is not in sight,” noted an October 23 post on TorrentFreak.
The Popcorn Time action claimed “the defendants enabled, authorized and induced copyright infringement of motion pictures and television shows,” with the MPAA’s statement describing YTS as “the home of YIFY, one of the world’s most prolific release groups involved in the illegal replication and distribution of copyright content with a library of some 4,500 infringing motion picture titles”.
“This co-ordinated legal action is part of a larger comprehensive approach being taken by the MPAA and its international affiliates to combat content theft,” commented Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the MPAA, said in a statement. “Development of high-quality entertainment requires significant investment of time and resources, and creators rely on a fair and lawful ecosystem that minimizes the significant impact of piracy. Our members are deeply committed to producing the most creative, compelling and entertaining content while finding innovative ways to deliver it to consumers. And we are equally committed to pursuing actions around the world to stop those who seek to undermine that goal by engaging in blatant piracy on a commercial scale. The actions announced today will help ensure that we’re able to continue this mission,” he asserted.