Movie2k, now Movie4k, a free movies online provider that recently changed its name after mysteriously going down last Wednesday, may be back online. But how long will it last?
After being down about 3 days, Movie2k fans began circulating the news that Movie4k, the proxy alternative to Movie2k, was up and running. Though the free movie online site claims it is totally legal now, many have noted that it appears to be the exact replica of its predecessor, Movie2k.
Movie2k to Movie4k: New Proxy Site Claims to Be Completely Legal, But Is It?
So what's different about Movie4k? According to IBTimes, when delving into the site, users will find Movie4k defending the fact that it is now perfectly legal. According to IBTimes,
"Movie4k described itself as bringing up to date on a daily basis a collection of high-quality films, telling its users: 'Our platform is absolutely free. There is no need to download, just relax and watch your preferred movies ... We do not host any files on our server nor do we upload any movies on other hosting websites. Our website works like a search engine, gathering and sorting movies from other websites and showing the embeded [sic] code or the direct link. ... We are absolutely legal."
Though Movie4k has made the bold claim that they are not wrong in leading you to free movies you watch online, still, it remains to be seen how the MPAA will interpret this "change" from Movie2k to Movie4k.
The administrators on the Movie4K free online movies page noted their distain for those who try to suppress piracy, publishing this note on the front page of the website:
"Nobody should have the power to suppress somebody just because of money! This site is the result of the need of many Human Beings. Everyone wants Movie2k.to/Movie4k.to back.
We, the Citizens, have to make clear that a "copyright infringement" cannot be compared to a violent crime. How come bootlegger get five years of jail time while child abuser are free on a 22-month probation? That is because money is way more important than an unique human life.
You cannot suppress the will of the People! One website goes, the next day five new appear. Did not the time come to overthink your marketing concepts and accept the new media?
So: FU Hollywood, FU GVU, FU Anti-piracy and FU Police. But we love Obama! Thank You to all supporting us! Let's not give up and fight for our internet freedom! #Movie4k"
President Obama's Stance On Piracy
Indeed, the issue of piracy and how to handle websites like Movie2k (now known as Movie4k) has been cropping up repeatedly and allowing for the illegal viewing of copyrighted materials, namely free movies online. And that has been an ear marker of the Obama administration. Last January, a landmark decision was made by President Obama to put a stop to SOPA or the "Stop Online Piracy Act" by stating he would not support it. In a word, a presidential veto was expected. Soon lawmakers backed down and the anti-piracy bill was killed.
Though the decision to squelch the anti-piracy bill is quite complicated, it also is partially why sites such as Movie2k, which now has changed to its proxy server name to Movie4k, continue to thrive.
MPAA Targets Sites Like Movie2k Claiming They Hurt The American Economy
When SOPA failed to pass, the MPAA felt the blow strongly and today is one organization leading the investigation of sites such as Movie2k and its alternative Movie4k. Soon after SOPA was shot down, the MPAA posted this on its official blog:
"The failure to pass meaningful legislation will result in overseas websites continuing to be a safe haven for criminals stealing and profiting from America."
And indeed, as a the MPAA reports sites like Movie2k, Movie4k and others which allow for free online movies to be watched in violation of copyright do in fact affect the fiber of the American economy. According to the MPAA, Movie2k brought in over 723,000 monthly unique viewers at a time in 2009. Numbers like this are bound to have an effect on the roughly 2.2 million jobs that are provided to Americans by the movie industry. Each year more that than $137 billion in wages is paid to people working in the movie industry and most of those position are lower level production and directing positions. Add to about 430,000 people who are employed 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.
Why Sites Like Movie2k and Movie4k Won't Disappear Anytime Soon
Still, opponents of SOPA stated that though they see the damage sites such as Movie2k and Movie4k may do to the American economy, too many details still needed to be ironed out.
The White House commented on the matter, stressing the economic importance of the issue:
"Let us be clear - online piracy is a real problem that harms the American economy, threatens jobs for significant numbers of middle-class workers and hurts some of our nation's most creative and innovative companies and entrepreneur however ... [SOPA] reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risks or undermines the dynamic, innovative global internet."
"The voice of the internet community has been heard. Much more education for members of Congress about the workings of the internet is essential if anti-piracy legislation is to be workable and achieve broad appeal."
These statements seem to show that the President and those opposed to SOPA in its earlier state understood that mass dissent that might be had, as well as possible cyber security risks that could come in the form of doxxes, hacks and attacks by radical anti-piracy groups such as Anonymous.
For now, the White House has remained firm in its denial to block such sites as Movie2k and Movie4k, stating that,
"Any provision covering internet intermediaries such as online advertising networks, payment processors, or search engines must be transparent and designed to prevent overly broad private rights of action that could encourage unjustified litigation that could discourage startup businesses and innovative firms from growing," and then continued to say, that any legislation which was put in place to stop piracy and block sites like movie2k "must not tamper with the technical architecture of the internet..."
It remains to be seen what will happen with sites like Movie2k or its new alternative free movies online viewing site, Movie4k. But for now, it seems there have been no major repercussions.