‘Movie-Blog’ Operators Sentenced and Domains Passed to ACE

By Bill Toulas / March 12, 2021

The operators of the pirate site known as "Movie-Blog" were sentenced to 22 months suspended prison, while several (but not all) of the domains linked to the illegal service (movie-blog.org, movie-blog.sx and movie-blog.tv, movie-blog.to) were passed under the ownership of the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE).

The legal case started in November 2020 when ACE obtained a DMCA subpoena that compelled the Tonic domain registry to hand over various pirate site owners' identities, including those of Movie Blog. As it was proven later, the service operators used their real IDs to register the domains.

Movie-Blog had a whopping 65 million unique visitors per year, so it was one of the big players in the piracy field. Representing a large number of rightsholders, ACE pressed the law enforcement authorities to launch a criminal investigation against the particular platform, which resulted in charging two individuals over copyright infringement counts. The case was eventually reviewed recently by a German District Court in Aurich, in Lower Saxony, while ACE was following close with interest.

Apart from the 22 months of suspended imprisonment, the two persons will have to pay fines for what they did. The two men will be allowed to live and work outside of a cell, but they will be thrown in jail if they infringe any copyrights during those 22 months. Also, all their electronic equipment will be seized and destroyed following the court’s order.

ACE has every reason to be satisfied with this outcome, even if it doesn’t add anything practically. Movie-Blog websites have been offline since October 2019, when a coordinated international enforcement operation in central Europe resulted in the dismantling of a file-hosting network that supported several pirating platforms, including Movie-Blog.

In its news section, ACE posted the following statement of Jan van Voorn, Executive Vice President and Chief of Global Content Protection for the MPA:

We applaud law enforcement’s efforts to have this case brought to court as well as the conviction achieved today by the public prosecutor. As ACE continues to fight piracy by working with a strong network of global allies, we are grateful to our partners in Germany for creating a solid deterrent effect in the market. The dedication of resources to fight IP infringement supports jobs in the audiovisual sector and bolsters the local creative economy as well.

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