Networks Geoblocking Consumers Deserve Piracy


Today paying consumers of content lost access to HBO, Hulu, ABC and other streaming services in Australia. These companies who are mostly content producers have introduced geoblocking which prevents paying customers accessing content legally.

In Australia the circumvention of geographic blocking is not illegal. This has been confirmed by the Australian Minister for Telecommunications.

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When using a streaming device such as an Apple TV to access HBO from Australia a message appears saying “To Access HBO you must reside within the 50 states of the United States of America. If you reside in this area and are still experiencing difficulties please contact your television provider”.

When trying the same using Hulu the message is “GEORESTRICTION. We’re sorry, currently our video library can only be streamed within the United States. If you are inside the United States and believe you received this message in error please contact Hulu’s support team at www.hulu.com/support”.

Now in order to gain access to wide variety of content not available through legal means, Australian consumers either miss out or need to resort to piracy. We believe this is a backward step.

The Stop File Lockers project has been vocal in support of rights holders when it comes to content piracy. However when large content producers and services prevent paying customers accessing content legally they deserve all the piracy they get.

Conclusion – 31st March 2015

The Stop File Lockers project ended all operations on the 31st March 2015.

Over the course of the project more than 1680 piracy sites were shut down and 1865 piracy source sites were shut down.


In the time since the Stop File Lockers project began, the payment processing industry has developed a good understanding of the risks involved in processing payments for file lockers and other piracy sites. As a result it is much more difficult to monetise piracy now than when the project began in June 2012.

We are sure that the ongoing evolution of technological approaches to the anti-piracy efforts of rights holders and the further understanding of the risks related to piracy sites will further restrict the monetisation options available to those who engage in commmercial piracy.

This site will remain as a permanent record of the project however no further comments or posts will be added.

Two Years of the Stop File Lockers Project

Today marks two years since this project began.

In that time we have shut down more one or more forms of payment processing for more than 1400 sites. We have shut down the payment processing for 734 file lockers and we have seen more than 700 blogs, forums and file lockers killed completely either because they could not fund their site any longer or they grew tired of the relentless pressure we put on them.

When we began we had identified around 1500 file lockers big and small and now that number has dwindled to 697.

Our biggest challenge to date has been bringing down the big file lockers – however while they are not down yet we have impacted their payment processing on numerous occasions.

Our challenge now is to take the fight right up to the largest file lockers to deprive them of access to credit card processing.

Sites like File Factory, Netload, Rapidgator, Keep2Share, Uploaded, Mega, UltraMegaBit and many more are in our sights and we intend to cut off every single monetisation method they use.

This is not a sprint but a marathon and we will pursue this project until it reaches it’s natural conclusion.

Avangate forced to drop file sharing sites. More sites poised to lose Avangate payment processing.

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:

Bitshare.com

cepzo.com

Extabit.com

Filefolks.com

FileRio.in

Freakshare.net

Sharedbit.net

Novafile.com

Lumfile.com

Filefactory.com

Luckyshare.net

Upsto.re

Megaload.it

FileStay.com

oteupload.com

upfile.biz

prefiles.com

ryushare.com

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.

Introducing Copy Control. Combatting Commercial Piracy

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We are pleased to announce the formation of a new organisation to take over the Stop File Lockers campaign and progress the campaign even further, then move on to tackle more forms of commercial piracy.

Copy Control Pty. Limited is a brand new corporation which has the sole aim of fighting commercial piracy on a global scale. With this new organisation the Stop File Lockers campaign will have the backing of a wide range of staff and volunteers and will be able to work in it’s own right.

Stop File Lockers is now an official project owned by Copy Control. You may follow Copy Control on Twitter @CopyControlHQ and soon you will be able to subscribe to a news mailing list and access real time updates on all of our work.

The formation of this new organisation will ensure that this and other projects have longevity and greater participation from the wider community.