There are literally thousands of pirate media web sites. According to Envisional, 11% of all Internet traffic is used by BitTorrent networks of which the top 10,000 torrents all infringe on the owner’s copyrights.
According to eBizMBA, the top 15 torrent websites are:
|1||ISOHunt - We estimate that with 12 million unique monthly visitors, at an estimated average of $0.02 per daily unique visitor this site is making $2.9 million a year in ad revenue. This site pays nothing to content owners or creators. As of 4/22/12 isohunt posts, “With constitutional freedoms at stake, isoHunt files plead”. Ethical Fan is dedicated to debunking this kind of rhetoric. This is like your local pawnshop encouraging you assist them in advocating their rights to resell stolen merchandise – some of which may have been stolen from you. Located in Canada.|
|2||ThePirateBay - We estimate that with 11.5 million unique monthly visitors, at an estimated average of $0.02 per daily unique visitor this site is making $2.7 million a year in ad revenue. This is a tiny amount of money compared to the devastation this web site brings on content creators. As of 4/23/12 this site had 22m seeders and 8.9m leechers that were distributing and consuming 205 million files in 4.2m torrents. That is most every movie ever made, most every song ever recorded and most popular software and video games distributed for free. As of 4/22/12 only one of the top 100 torrents on The Pirate Bay was there with the owner’s permission. Located in Sweden.|
|3||Torrentz - 4,400,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors. We believe they operate out of Poland.|
|4||ExtraTorrent - 3,000,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors|
|5||TorrentReactor - 2,700,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors|
|6||Demonoid - 2,400,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors (shut down August 6, 2012)|
|7||KickAssTorrents - 2,400,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors|
|8||TorrentDownloads - 1,700,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors|
|9||SumoTorrent - 1,000,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors|
|10||OnlyTorrents - 950,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors|
|11||BitSnoop - 900,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors|
|12||Fenopy - 850,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors|
|13||TorrentPortal - 800,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors|
|14||1337x.org - 750,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors|
|15||Seedpeer - 700,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors|
In our opinion, these sites routinely profit from a substantial amount of linking to, hosting or distributing copyrighted materials without the owner’s permission.
Beemp3 - They sell advertising to links for content they do not have the rights to distribute. Imagine a magazine in the line at the grocery store advertising stolen merchandise.
4shared - They sell subscriptions to download content they do not have the rights for.
Hotfile - They sell subscriptions to download content they do not have the rights for.
Filestube - They sell subscriptions to download content they do not have the rights for.
Grooveshark - They make money on content they don’t own and don’t share profits from.
Gomusicnow - They charge money, but they just keep it.
But what is the most popular and most widely used website for finding illegal pirated content? What is the #1 website on the web?
Below is a screenshot of a Google search for “Florence and The Machine Download” a current popular recording artist. Four of the top seven listings are for sites that profit from offering stolen copies of this artists’ music for free. This now the “new normal” for every book, song, movie,many software packages and video games. As a society, why are we tolerating this? Imagine if there was a magazine in the checkout line at the grocery store in which more than half of the advertisements were for stolen merchandise. That is the innovation and ethics of the “open internet.” How hard would it be for Google to at least put the sites that are profiting from offering stolen content on the second page to at least give the artist a fighting chance? After all, they make $12B a year in profit. Isn’t that enough? They know which sites are offering stolen merchandise because they literally receive thousands of take down notices a month for each of these four sites at the copyright owners expense.
Note that listing #3, beepmp3 makes money from advertisements served by Propellerads who aggregates ads from doubleclick, owned by Google. Search engine executives when confronted with such an example might claim this is a freedom of speech issue. The purpose of this website is to educate the public, so the public can make a judgment whether the rights of businesses that profit from enabling theft of someone else’s property trump the rights of the workers and investors who created the property. Our opinion is that this is wrong and unfair and that people who campaign that this is the future of the Internet need to be opposed with reason and persistence.
At least when you enter “fencing stolen jewelry” into Google, you see articles about people being arrested along side with the advertisements for pawn shops.