A coalition of major studios has obtained a settlement that shuts down Openload, a file-sharing site that got more traffic than Hulu or HBO Go.
Operating through the website openload.co, the site collected advertising revenue and paid users who uploaded videos based on the number of downloads. The site operated through 1,000 servers in Romania, France and Germany, according to the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, and provided content to 36 of the top 50 pirate sites in the world.
ACE has been pursuing the case for several months, and recently brought a legal action in Germany against the operators. The operators — who also ran a similar site called Streamango — agreed to shutter both sites and pay a “significant damage award,” according to an ACE press release.
Openload has been redirected to ACE’s website, which briefly crashed due to the heavy volume of traffic.
Openload claimed to follow procedures for taking down infringing content, but the site was identified last year in a report by the U.S. Trade Representative on “notorious markets.”
ACE is an coalition of the five major studios, plus Netflix, Amazon, and several other content providers.
The organization, which formed in 2017, has brought a series of lawsuits to shut down pirate sites and the manufacturers of hardware that can facilitate piracy. In August, the organization announced it had shuttered Vader Streams, a pirate operation based in Canada.