Russia Sees Huge Increase in Pirate Sites & Blocking Could Be to Blame

Russia has firmly established itself as one of the leading countries in prompt and effective site-blocking actions.

Many  platforms are blocked for many reasons, from the promotion of terrorism to gambling advertising and copyright infringement. New sites are added to the country’s national blacklist which local ISPs are required to frequently check in order to prevent their subscribers from accessing forbidden platforms.

New research from WEBKONTROL reveals some interesting facts considering the ongoing situation.

In 2017, the number of torrent sites offering content to the Russian market sat at around 1,300. However, last year – in the face of overwhelming blocking measures – that number grew to around 2,000.

In 2018, torrent sites accounted for just over a fifth of the ‘pirate’ market (streaming platforms dominate with more than 70%) but due to multiple links to the same content appearing on most platforms, torrent links accounted for around 40% of the available links to pirated material.

Although, torrent sites take smaller share of the market, in 87% of cases, the first public copies of premiere titles appeared on torrent sites first, before spreading out to other platforms such as streaming and hosting sites.

Out of various website types, the number of streaming resources had increased by 2% – from 69% to 71% [2017 v 2018] – which placed the streaming websites in the leading position.

The share of torrent-trackers has also increased by 3% – from 19% to 22%. At the same time, the analysts have noted that the number of link sites and cyberlockers went down from 5% to 3%, and from 6% to 3% respectively.

In 2017, the number of pirate sites offering content to Russian audiences dropped by 10% but in 2018, WEBKONTROL detected a 43% increase, amounting to an additional 9,500 sites. Overall piracy slightly lost its position, with the huge increase in sites put down to site owners’ responses to Russia’s aggressive blocking system.

The overall traffic of pirate sites is decreasing notwithstanding the fact that the number of such sites is growing rapidly. Presumably, the main reason for this is the newly created mirror sites.

Administrators of the pirate resources tend to create mirror sites as quickly as possible after their original domains are blocked. Rights holders, on the other hand, instantly block these mirrors using an administrative procedure, so there is no chance for these sites to gain any significant traffic. Some pirates simply stop creating new mirrors after a few blocking procedures.

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