Operators of Movie & TV Piracy Giant 8maple Sentenced to Prison in Taiwan
Two software engineers who created 8maple, a movie and TV show platform that dominated the local online piracy market in Taiwan, have been sentenced to prison. Now in their mid-thirties, the men generated over US$130,000 per month in advertising revenues but now face 18 months behind bars and the confiscation of US$2 million.
Pirate sites with tens of millions of visits each month are large enough to consider themselves global players yet some achieve these levels in a tighter geographic niche.
Founded in 2014 by two Taiwanese software engineers, movie and TV show piracy site 8maple is a prime example. Initially, the site was promoted as a commercial advertising platform but soon transformed into a full-blown piracy portal pulling in millions of visitors each month and generating large sums in advertising revenue.
Spending an estimated US$9,800 on server hosting in the United States, Canada, Ukraine, France and Romania each month, early estimates suggested the men behind 8maple may have been generating around US$65,600 in monthly revenues. By early 2020, the site’s main domain at 8maple.ru was pulling around 35 million visits per month, generating around US$133,000 per month in revenue.
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