Popular file-hosting service RapidVideo shut down late last year following legal pressure from Netflix and Warner Bros. This case is now closed and the site’s operator has agreed to pay a substantial settlement to the rightsholders. In addition to the settlement, the site’s domain names have been handed over to the Motion Picture Association.
Up until late last year RapidVideo was one of the largest video hosting sites on the Internet, used by millions of people.
Like many of its competitors, the platform was often frequented by pirates. As such, it was a thorn in the side of many major entertainment industry companies.
For RapidVideo this eventually culminated in a lawsuit filed by two members of the Motion Picture Association (MPA), Warner Bros. Entertainment and Netflix. The media companies hoped the court would to put an end to the site’s alleged infringing activity.
RapidVideo’s operator decided not to await the verdict and shut the site down without prior warning. This meant that from one day to the next, one of the largest sites on the Internet was gone.
While we already knew that the site wasn’t coming back, something changed a few days ago. Ownership of the Rapidvideo.com and Rapidvideo.is domains was handed over to the MPA, as the whois details below show.
Initially, it wasn’t clear whether RapidVideo’s operator handed over the domain names voluntarily. However, the MPA, which leads the global anti-piracy coalition ACE, informs TorrentFreak that the transfers are part of a settlement. This also marks the end of the German lawsuit.
“The case has now been closed, with the operator agreeing to transfer the domain names and to paying a substantial amount of damages to the ACE members,” says Jan Van Voon, MPA’s Chief of Global Content Protection.
After the MPA gained control over the domains, Rapidvideo.is started to redirect to the ACE website and the .com domain will likely follow suit. The same happened with similar sites that were previously taken over following legal pressure, including Openload and Streamango.
RapidVideo’s operator previously said that, before it shut down, ACE and the MPA demanded far-reaching anti-piracy measures. The rightsholders requested a thorough “take down, stay down” policy that would go further than hash or filename filtering.
Facing these demands as well as a legal battle, the site decided to throw in the towel instead.
This shutdown combined with the substantial settlement is yet another victory for ACE and its members. These include Netflix and Warner Bros. Entertainment, which got the ball rolling.
Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.