After months of discussions and ongoing pressure , we saw Avangate finally remove payment processing from a large batch of file hosts. Avangate did this reluctantly and in the end it came down to the risk to Avangate of losing relationships important to it’s ongoing business. At the time of writing there are still a handful of file sharing sites using Avangate.
Avangate became a refuge of last resort for many file lockers, the largest of which were Freakshare and Bitshare who fled to Avangate after the loss of their Paypal relationships. Avangate took on the business of Freakshare and Bitshare knowing our objections to the illegal file sharing business. For too long, Avangate completely thumbed it’s nose at legitimate rights holders by processing payments for infringing websites.
We shall be keeping a close eye on Avangate over the weeks and months to come, prepared to lobby those who provide necessary services to Avangate for as long as Avangate continue to support IP infringing merchants.
The sites affected by the Avangate’s decision to remove some file sharing merchants are:
Ultimately all third party payment processors accepting credit cards or Paypal rely on their relationships with those organisations. In cases where payment processors do not adopt a best practices approach to the mitigation of IP infringement it will be necessary to continue to apply pressure on their business relationships and to conduct a public campaign until such time as the payment processor decides to place IP rights above profit.
We will continue to monitor all of the sites listed above to ensure that there are no safe havens of payment processing available to them.