Websites registered in China, Russia, Ukraine and Canada continue to dominate the list of "most notorious" markets for distributing pirated movies and TV shows, an industry report shows.
The survey, compiled by the Motion Picture Assn. of America at the request of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, ranked websites and other technologies used to distribute illegal copies of movies and TV show based on how much web traffic they generated, among other indicators.
The MPAA list includes peer-to-peer networks, Bit Torrent portals, infringing download and streaming hubs, linking websites and newsgroups, as well as physical markets located in the Ukraine, Australia, Canada, China, Indonesia, Ireland, Brazil, Russia, Thailand, Mexico and India.
"The rogue overseas marketplaces highlighted in the filing undermine the people who work hard to create the movies and TV shows audiences love, and jeopardize the billions of dollars they contribute to the U.S. economy," Chris Dodd, chairman of the MPAA said in a statement. "The MPAA commends the USTR's commitment to protect and enforce intellectual property rights abroad and, in so doing, protect U.S. jobs."
Among the top sites identified in the survey were: Extratorrent.com in the Ukraine, which had 16.1 million unique visitors in August, including features highlighting "the most pirate movies" and "first cams," which are camcordings of movies showing in theaters; and Russia-based Rutracker.org, a BitTorrent portal launched in 2010 that is one of the world's most visited sites, with 11.7 million unique visitors in August.
Also on the list were two sites from Canada: Kickass.to, which changed names after U.S. authorities seized its previous domain; and Torrentz.eu, one of the most popular BitTorrent websites on the Internet, which had 45.5 million visitors in August.
China also two websites on the list: Xunlei.com, which features a high speed file sharing system that distributes unauthorized copies of movies and TV shows; and QVOD, or Kuaibo.com, widely used by Chinese rogues linking sites.
"The criminals who profit from the most notorious markets through the world threaten the very heart of our industry and in doing so threaten the livelihoods of the people who give it life," wrote the MPAA's Michael O'Leary, the report's author. "These markets are an immediate threat to legitimate commerce, impairing legitimate markets' viability and curbing U.S. competitiveness."