Hollywood’s biggest studios have succeeded in shutting down Openload, a popular pirating site that received more online traffic than Hulu, HBO Go, and NBCNews.com. A second pirating site, Streamango, was also shut down.
A group of major movie and TV studios announced Thursday that the operator behind both pirating sites “is required to stop operating the services and pay a significant damage award.”
The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) is a Hollywood industry group dedicated to stopping digital piracy and is comprised of numerous entertainment companies, including the five biggest studios — the Walt Disney Company, Sony Pictures Entertainment, NBC Universal, Paramount, and Warner Bros. — as well as the streaming giants Netflix and Amazon.
The alliance is closely linked to the Motion Picture Assn., formerly known as the MPAA, which acts as Hollywood’s main lobbying group in Washington, DC.
Charles Rivkin, who heads the Motion Picture Assn., also serves as chair of ACE.
“For years, these two pirate operations failed to take meaningful action to stop the dissemination of the illegal content, harming creators and misleading consumers,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
Digital piracy has become a mounting concern among the major studios and TV networks as the rise of streaming entertainment has made piracy easier and more prevalent.
ACE said that Openload provided pirated content to 72 percent of the top 50 illegal video streaming and linking sites in the world. The site had more than 1,000 servers in Romania, France, and Germany.
The site openload.co displayed the following message on Thursday: “This website is longer available due to copyright infringement.” The site then automatically redirected visitors to ACE’s official site.
Last year, the site TorrentFreak ranked Openload as No. 7 in its top 10 list of sites by global video streaming traffic share, just behind Facebook Video and ahead of Sky Go.
ACE said it has recently secured permanent injunctions against other pirating operations including Vader Streams, Dragon Box, and TickBox.