Taiwan streaming platforms rally to defend copyright

Legitimate OTT platforms see traffic spike after closure of Taiwan's largest piracy streaming site

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Streaming websites team up to combat piracy. (Facebook photo)

Streaming websites team up to combat piracy. (Facebook photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A number of Taiwanese over-the-top (OTT) media platforms have launched an online campaign to encourage viewers to choose authorized streaming services when they look for entertainment online.

Last month, Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau teamed up with the Motion Picture Association of America to crack down on Taiwan's largest illegal streaming site, 8maple.ru. Since then, web traffic for many local OTT platforms has increased by over 50 percent, according to LTN.

KKTV, an OTT platform from KKBOX Group, said that hundreds of illegal streaming sites were shuttered after the crackdown on 8maple.ru.

Legal OTT platforms see their newfound surge in traffic as evidence of how the media industry has been sabotaged by piracy. Taiwan loses an estimated NT$28.3 billion (US$943.17 million) due to copyright infringement yearly.

According to the police, 8maple.ru was built in 2014 and claims to be only a portal to existing web resources that bypass copyright. However, the two founders allegedly uploaded a very large amount of illegal content to servers related to their enterprise, Business Next reported.

With monthly cash outflows of NT$300,000 and inflows of up to NT$2 million, the website was able to establish its own agency to attract advertisers.

The police confiscated 25 cloud servers from 8maple.ru, discovering other illegal servers run by the pair in Canada, the U.S., Ukraine, and Romania.