Movie4k has been up and streaming free movies online as an alternative to Movie2k.to for half a week now, but the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is still seeking solutions to the on-going problem of piracy.
The popular Movie2k.to site, which went down Wednesday, was replaced by Movie4k.to over the weekend. The new site appears to still be offering the same free movies online illegally that the previous site did.
What Happened To Movie2k?
If you hadn't heard what happened to Movie2k and why Movie4k has taken its place, well the answer is still not entirely known. It appears, however, that the site went down of its own free will and re-launched under the new name Movie4k. Though the new site claims it is perfectly legal, serving only as an aggregator of free online movies, for all intents and purposes Movie4k.to is Movie2k.to with a slight face-lift. The site still includes indie films and blockbuster titles similar to those found on Movie2k and despite its claims of being "legal," is likely being closely watched by the MPAA.
Both Movie2k.to and Movie4k.to are associated with another infamous online streaming movie site known as kino.to and offer an extensive index of free online movies for streaming or download by users. Unfortunately, these movie offerings were in violation of copyright, leading to investigation by the MPAA.
MPAA Blames Sites Like Movie2K For Economic Losses, But TED Speaker Rob Reid Thinks Otherwise
Movie2k was listed as one of 20 or more "notorious online markets" by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) in 2011 and since that time has undergone extensive investigation by the organization, which may have led to its shut down
In 2011, MPAA launched a powerful campaign against sites, which allow for pirated content to be viewed and downloaded making the case in a 2011 press release that $58 billion in US economic losses and 373,000 lost jobs was directly linked to piracy. However, those proposed figures underwent some skeptical scrutiny by author and TED speaker Rob Reid who claims the figures may have been a bit hyped.
"These numbers originated at a think tank called the 'Institute for Policy Innovation' - an organization that Businessweek once profiled in an article called "Op-Eds for Sale." In it, an IPI analyst freely admitted to taking payoffs in exchange for writing 'op-ed pieces boosting the lobbyist's clients.' The IPI's president supported this behavior, saying it was neither wrong nor unethical, and dismissing those who apply "a naïve purity standard" to the business of writing op-eds.This doesn't necessarily mean that MPAA lobbyists paid the IPI to conjure up these numbers. But whatever their genesis, they're not easy figures to support."
The blog post and related video below outline where the real loss in movie industry jobs and revenues could be coming from.
MPAA Offers Alternative To Movie2k
Though the MPAA has attempted to offer a legal alternative to sites like Movie2k.to, it has not been particularly well received. The free movies online site, which the MPAA is promoting -- WheretoWatch.org -- introduces online movie-seekers to a number of legal resources for watching free movies online. It also lists a number of paid subscription sites such as Hulu, HBO, Showtime, Netflix and Amazon. The site goes into great detail reviewing how each movie platform works, devices supported and content available.
In an interview with the LA Times, MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd had this to say about online movie watching and the new WheretoWatch website.
"There have never been more ways to access movies and television legitimately online, and those platforms continue to grow and develop thanks in large part to a copyright system that encourages innovation, risk and growth ... the companies I represent are committed to continuing to create and develop the best ways for audiences to enjoy the entertainment they love."
What Online Movie-Watchers Really Want
Unfortunately, these well-intended alternatives to sites like Movie2k.to or Movie4k have fallen mostly to the wayside as many fans of the illegal streaming movie sites claim the alternatives do not provide the extensive listing of titles Movie2k's index did nor at a reasonable enough price. It seems what most users are actually craving is not more sources for streaming but different, less mainstream selections which were richly supplied on Movie2k.to and Now Movie4k. Here are a couple comments made by Movie2k users on an earlier article, which reflect that sentiment.
"The great thing about movie2k was their Indie and foreign films on the right column, separated from the Hollywood blockbuster camrips in the center. The great thing about those indie and foreign films is they are next to impossible for many to see in theaters. Movie2k was the only sight that hosted many of these type of films" - LEE
"Those indie and foreign films ... 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" - MAGGIE
"Instead of shutting down these sites to save money, why don't they stop paying these actors and actresses those ridiculous salaries and making 99.9% of movies that aren't worth the cost of admission. If they took time to make a quality flick, or charge less for the lesser quality flicks, then sites like Movie2K wouldn't exist." - MICHAEL
From reading these comments it seems that online streaming movie retailers should look for ways to provide more unique content rather than more of the same. Though certainly it would not entirely remedy the problem of piracy and make sites like Movie2k or Movie4k disappear altogether, it may still prove to be a profitable endeavor for someone willing to take the risk.
As more develops on Movie4k and how the MPAA intends to combat the issue of online piracy, we'll be sure to update you.