Vietnam-based piracy website shut down

By Phan Anh, Luu Quy   March 2, 2023 | 07:47 am PT
Vietnam-based piracy website shut down
USTVGO shows a closure sign on its website. Photo by VnExpress
A Vietnam-based website that provides illicit access to live channels has been shut down by the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) for piracy.

USTVGO, a website based in Hanoi, has been shut down after providing illegal access to over 100 live channels, including several sports channels, according to a press release issued on Tuesday.

The ACE said the domain had been in operation since 2018.

Prior to the shutdown, the website had been averaging over 16 million visits a month, with 75% of the traffic coming from the U.S.

"Vietnamese piracy operators have been associated with some of the world’s most egregious piracy services, which cause significant damage to the local and international marketplaces and make Vietnam a piracy hotspot," said Jan van Voorn, head of ACE, in a statement.

"We have identified several piracy operators in Vietnam besides USTVGO and are making use of all available tools to shut them down."

Vietnam’s online video industry generated $249 million in 2022, according to a report by Media Partners Asia. Copyright infringement has become a more common problem in recent years, with the number of illegal users in Vietnam rising to 15.2 million in 2022, causing losses of $348 million, a total of 18% of all revenue in the industry, the report added.

"Measures to manage copyright infringement could help transform 60% of the illegal accounts into users of legitimate on-demand video services, which are low-cost and popular in Vietnam," said an ACE representative.

USTVGO has yet to respond to questions about the matter. Its social media channels, including its Discord channel, are no longer available.

The ACE is a coalition of several major global entertainment companies and film studios that aim to protect their profits from copyrighted material. Its members include Amazon, Apple TV+, Netflix Studios LLC and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

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