World’s most popular pirated movie site being run from Vietnam

123 Movies was the world's largest download site with 98 million visitors a month

The Motion Picture Association of America wants to call it a wrap on illegal content.

A recent investigation by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has found that the world’s most popular illegal movie site is being operated from Vietnam.

“Right now, the most popular illegal site in the world, 123movies.to (at this point), is operated from Vietnam, and has 98 million visitors a month,” said Jan van Voorn, executive vice president & chief of Global Content Protection at the MPAA.

The MPAA is in Vietnam as part of a global campaign to deal with illegal movie sites. According to Voorn, the association’s goal is to support legitimate markets and businesses, while at the same time dealing with illegal outlets.

“There are more services like this [123movies] – sites that are not helpful for local legitimate businesses,” said Voorn, who is working with the Office of the Police Investigation Agency (C44) to tackle the problem.

The number of legal movie and music sites in Vietnam has increased in recent years, with popular music sites like Zing Mp3 and Nhaccuatui (My Music) requiring users to pay to download, and the recent launches of Netflix and Spotify.

“But as the legal sites develop, so do the illegal ones,” Voorn said.

The top five most accessed movie sites in Vietnam, as per data from analytics website SimilarWeb, have all the latest Hollywood releases, but do not indicate whether the rights have been bought from the producers.

Concerning recent incidents of livestreaming movies from theaters, Voorn said that this is not only a matter of legitimate ownership.

“Education is necessary. Changing perceptions takes a long time,” he said. “Vietnamese people need to understand that making a movie is not free of charge, companies have to pay a lot to bring these works to the audience,” Voorn explained.

Voorn also suggested that authorities need to remove existing illegal film sites in Vietnam and ensure that only legal content is available in the market. – VNExpress


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