Movie2k Down But Proxy Appears: Is The Alternative Free Online Movie Site Legal?
Movie2k shut down last week, along with its index and blog, but a proxy, Movie4k, has appeared. Will Movie2k go back online? It appears the free streaming movie site is gone for good. But as predicted, a Movie2k alternative has already cropped up. Soon after Movie2k went down, TorrentFreak, a site devoted to all things BitTorrent news, reported that though problems were noticed with Movie2k as early as Wednesday, they felt certain an alternative or sites similar to Movie2k, an MPAA-blocked free streaming movie site, would arise very soon in the form of a proxy server.
TorrentFreak mentioned a possible new name for the Movie2k proxy, Movie4k, and according to a comment we received on an earlier article by a well-known member of the Movie2k community, PureVodka, the proxy site similar to Movie2k is already up and running. The question now is: Will Movie4k, the free online streaming movies proxy, be a legal alternative to Movie2k? The answer is doubtful. As a result, the new site could go under investigation soon by the MPAA. (Note: iDesignTimes does not condone the illegal viewing and distributing of copyrighted materials)
Movie2K Shut Down or Blocked? According To GVA, The Site Closed Of Its Own Free Will
So what happened and why did Movie2k go down in the first place? On Wednesday, May 29 the site became unresponsive and was redirecting users back to Google. When site administrators for Movie2k were contacted by email, no answers were received. It was soon assumed that the Movie2k site was likely down due to being blocked by regulations like those dealt the week prior by MPAA in the UK.
In 2011, the MPAA listed Movie2k as one of about 20 "online notorious markets" along with well-known sites such as the PirateBay, PutLocker and MegaUpload. Though many assumed the site had been shut down due to copyright infringement, a German blog post with quotes from a GVA spokesperson (The GVA is a German equivalent to the MPAA) notes the site had not been shut down by any government organization, but rather Movie2k had likely gone down of its own free will. Here is what the organization had to say about the matter [translation]:
"We can not say what the reasons leading to the current unavailability of movie2k at the moment. The fact is that the GVU has gained from the still ongoing process complex kino.to very extensive knowledge of the scene of the digital fence. This includes movie2k ... Is possible now that they have switched off the page ... if those responsible have switched from movie2k their illegal offer itself, we interpret this as a first signal of their willingness not to deepen the damage to the film industry even further."
Why People Wish A Site Similar To Movie2k Was Available Legally
Of course one of the biggest complaints of those who often accessed Movie2k to stream free movies online is that there is not a legal equivalent, paid or free, that offers the section of movies Movie2k's index did. Many note that the Movie2k site, before it went down, gave access to a number of obscure indie and foreign film selections that are inaccessible period through legal paid or free alternatives.
In the words of one Movie2k fan:
"The great thing about those indie and foreign films is they are next to impossible for many to see in theaters ... and not on netflix usually either.....THIS is the point and what suggestions may be made so we may find these independent non block buster and foreign language films to STREAM? And I don't mind paying a reasonable amount for streaming." -- JIM
Still, on the other side of the argument, the MPAA has made a strong case for why it is investigating and working to shut down sites such as Movie2k. The organization managed to shut down Movie2k and Download4All in the UK by engaging six British internet service providers (ISP) in blocking the illegal streaming movie website. Among those ISPs blocking Movie2k are BT, Sky, Virgin Media, EE, TalkTalk and O2.
According to the MPAA's vice-president, Kate Bedingford:
"Movie2K provides access to a wide variety of content, including films and TV programs, without permission, and has failed to remove the copyrighted material despite requests from rights holders ... the Court ruled that blocking is appropriate and proportionate in the circumstances."
And it seems that some previous users of Movie2k agree the site should have handled the management of its online movie selection better.
"[Movie2k] Indie and foreign films directory listed on the site was amazing and so convenient. Movie2k should have disabled the ability to downloading movies from their site, their Download4All broke the UK's Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. Really dumb on the host's part as I was perfectly content with just watching the movies via the website or back-links. With the wide variety of media converters and add on extensions on the web, users could have just downloaded them on their own, similar to what people do to YouTube videos. This was a fail on the host's part."
How Piracy and Sites Like Movie2k Proxy Affect The Economy
Even if the ability to download movies from the Movie2k site had been disabled, it likely still would have been in violation of the MPAA ruling as there are more factors to consider than just one individual viewing a movie for free online. When put together as a whole, Movie2k brought in over 723,000 monthly unique viewers at a time. If you think about the amount of revenue lost due to illegal viewing of free movies online from Movie2k alone, the numbers would likely be quite astounding.
According to the MPAA, roughly 2.2 million jobs are provided to Americans by the movie industry with more that than $137 billion in wages doled out each year. Most of these jobs are not in acting itself, but rather directing and production. Add to that the roughly 430,000 jobs in movie theaters, video rental stores, and other legal online movie streaming sites, and you begin to see that sites like Movie2k providing pirated material cuts into an economic sector of the United States, affecting both the minimum wage movie theater usher to the high-paid actors. Many truly are affected by piracy.
Will Piracy Ever Be Completely Eradicated?
Though the U.S. government has recently toughened up on illegal movie-streaming websites, reaching out to organizations like the MPAA to help identify and investigate such sites, the problem may not go away anytime soon.
For example, the PirateBay was said to be squelched nearly 2 years ago, yet it is still alive and flourishing.
The problem of piracy and viewing illegal free movies online is one there seems to be no simple solutions for. We recently wrote an article sharing a number of free legal streaming movie websites. Unfortunately several readers noted the selection is not like the Movie2k movie index. Still, there is a chance you may find some things you would like to view there.
As more is learned bout Movie2k, why it shut down or if it will go back online we'll be sure to update you. (NOTE: iDesignTimes in no way condones the illegal viewing or distributing of copyrighted material and as such recommends for viewing free movies online, make sure to check the free legal website listings we have here.)
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