MPAA pushes site-blocking as a way to deal with piracy

by: William Neilson JrAugust 30, 2014


The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has been trying to figure out a way to curb piracy for many years. It seems that each year, they find a new, idiotic way of going about trying to stop customers from watching their content.

Recently, Wired wrote a story detailing the difficulty, and therefore absurdity, of those looking to transfer completely legal files who are faced with a number of obstacles due almost entirely to copyright rules that the MPAA/RIAA have pushed onto the public.

But the MPAA seems to have also taken a much sketchier tone in recent threats against MPAA customers. In one instance, TechDirt brought up the fact that the MPAA has been busy trying to act like they have the power to send DMCA notices to those working on Popcorn Time’s open source project. In a number of other instances, the MPAA issues massively over-broad DMCA take-down notices to Google and other search engines and web-sites.

A recent incident showed the stupidity of the MPAA’s attack on public sites that are not well-known until the MPAA brings attention to them. Specifically, the MPAA turned a little-known Reddit sub-forum into a massive sub-forum once the forum got recognition as the place that the MPAA was attacking.

Now, the MPAA seems to be of the belief that forcing ISP’s to block selected web-sites is the way to stop piracy. As Torrent Freak states, the MPAA has conducted internal research to show that site blocking is effective.

Included in the internal MPAA research is this statement:

“Recent research of the effectiveness of site blocking orders in the UK found that visits to infringing sites blocked declined by more than 90% in total during the measurement period or by 74.5% when proxy sites are included.”

Except, we have no idea where they have gotten this data. As Torrent Freak correctly notes, the MPAA used their own data to come to the conclusion that piracy is being successfully stopped in the UK.

MPAAPiracy TechFleece

Then again, this is not exactly new to the MPAA. Two months ago, MPAA boss Chris Dodd stated that ISP blockades are one of the “most effective” ways to stop piracy.

“Here in the United Kingdom, the balanced and proportionate use of civil procedures has made tremendous progress in tackling infringing websites. To date, access to over 40 pirate sites focused on infringing copyright for commercial gain, have been blocked.” – Chris Dodd

Therefore, it seems reasonable to think that this type of action will be shortly pushed by the MPAA onto US ISP’s.

I still think that the MPAA should continue support for throwing elderly women out of movie theaters in the hope that they can deter piracy.

  • JayMars84

    Let me pay 50 dollars a month. I get to choose five new, wide-release movies I get to stream at home twice during that month. Until then, the only fair thing for both parties is I pirate a movie and buy a ticket on Fandango if I enjoyed it and just don’t go. If I’m not enjoying it, I turn it off halfway through.

    Going to the movies can be and often is a horrible experience with the talkers, latecomers, and overpriced food. The restrictions on Blu-rays that you OWN are ridiculous. People will continue to pirate no matter what. The MPAA is just finding new ways to lose this war.

    • uriejarafa

      “It don’t matter if you’re black or white”.
      ++++++ ♥ Mixed M a tching . c/o/ m ♥ +++++ =BEST Online Mixed Dāting SITE ..Over 1700000 active members from local and worldwide.
      Join date black women, white men, blackmen and white women. The convenient and safe way to date other cultures and races online. If you want to look for people with which you can date, you are at the right place. With a brave heart to love. This is a paradise where love is color blind. vvvvvvvzxv

  • MasterMuffin

    I’ve been thinking about if it’s even legal to ban torrent sites. They aren’t hosting any files, they’re almost like Google, just a way for people to search stuff. Torrent sites like piratebay, kickass or whatever are the biggest sources for pirates, so how will they try to pull this?

  • JG

    Site blocking is an effective way to reduce traffic to that particular site. But I don’t see it preventing piracy. All shuting The Pirate Bay down will accomplish is sending pirates to Kickass Torrents instead, and then to another site when it gets shut down, and another … It’ll just clog the courts with MAFIAA filing suit against the site. And by the time the site is taken down, another two will be up in its place.

  • Captain

    IceBane, Tomcat-12, FlickSick, & Condors *Flies away*

  • Sean

    If they want to curb piracy they can provide legal, affordable, reasonable means to watch their content that is up to date with current technology. Even my own TV programming that I already pay for every month can’t be watched on my tablet, in my own home? They deserve it.

  • namesib

    It’s a good thing VPNs and proxies don’t exist, or this would be completely useless!


  • OldSchoolLibertarian

    The internet routes around RIAA and MPAA.

  • Don’t block the site, warn the uploaders

  • Kostas Tsek

    MPAA there is only one way to stop piracy:make your products cheaper better and available to everyone!

  • Planterz

    The more crap they try to force, the more likely I am to pirate.

    I have a Blu-ray drive on my laptop. It’s practically useless as a Blu-ray drive, because I can’t watch Blu-ray movies on it. Granted, the only thing I own on Blu-ray is Firefly/Serenity, but since I use my laptop to watch movies (via HDMI to 42″ TV), there’s no way I’ll ever bother buying anything else on Blu-ray. I’ll just watch my old DVDs or download an HD version (to watch, then delete) instead.

  • Happy

    In Belgium (and Netherlands) we have been playing this game for a couple of years already. They keep on blocking the torrent sites and the torrent sites introduce newer and newer mirror sites with another URL until they get blocked again. Actually one of this mirror sites had the amusing name – Tim Kuik is the president of the Dutch MPAA – so here is an idea for you :-)

  • mrjayviper

    are these sorts of articles a new trend? from the same author too.