The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has declared that the Megaupload shutdown earlier this year has been a great success. In a filing to the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), the group representing major movie studios says the file hosting and sharing industry has been massively disrupted.

The annual document is typically published publicly by the MPAA, but this time for some reason it wasn’t. Nevertheless, TorrentFreak managed to obtain a copy, and here’s the key quote, worth reproducing in full (bolding by TNW):

This year’s seizures of Megaupload.com and Megavideo.com by the Department of Justice illustrate the extent and impact that hosting hubs have on the online landscape. Prior to the seizures, Megavideo.com (Alexa 177) and Megaupload.com (Alexa 72) were estimated to receive 3,447,7741 and 2,640,8452 unique visitors each month, respectively. Megaupload.com alone was estimated to have consumed 11.4% of the Internet bandwidth in Brazil. When these two websites were taken down, many linking websites, custom search engines, and custom streaming scripts that relied on the sites for content became inoperable. Some websites were abandoned by their operators, others lost traffic, while still others shifted their business model. For example, Wupload.com (Alexa 918), which was featured in
MPAA’s filing last year, disabled file sharing. Affiliate programs that paid uploaders for content were also discontinued or removed by many hubs. Further, infringing content was purged by operators in bulk, which was followed by uploaders who deleted their own files to prevent the hubs from profiting on the uploads without paying incentives. In sum, the impact of these seizures was massive and the hub landscape is still recovering.

The MPAA is naturally the last organization on Earth that would say the operation was a failure, but it’s still interesting to see just how much they deem it a success. Note that the shutdown occurred in January, and this document was published in September, meaning the group says it is seeing positive results a full eight months after the sting.

Yet the MPAA says there is still work to be done, identifying sites that make available to downloaders “unauthorized copies of high-quality, recently-released content and in some cases, coordinate the actual upload and download of that content.” Here’s the list of sites, including where they are hosted: Extratorrent (Ukraine), IsoHunt (Canada), Kickass Torrents (Canada), Rutracker (Russia), The Pirate Bay (Sweden), Torrentz (Canada), and Kankan (China).

Many of these have filled the gap created by the loss of Megaupload, but others have also sprung up to help. The MPAA listed the following new hubs that offer both legitimate and infringing content: Extabit (Netherlands), Netload (Germany), Putlocker (UK), Rapid Gator (Russia), Simdisk (South Korea), Uploaded (Netherlands), and VKontakte (Russia).

The full document is embedded below:

See also – Researchers find Megaupload shutdown hurt box office revenues, despite gains for blockbusters and Whoops: Movie studios ask Google to censor links to legal copies of their films and related content

Image credit: Carl Dwyer