Two of the most widely used video streaming websites in the world have agreed to immediately cease operations in a deal with the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE).

Openload had an estimated 65 million visits per month and was in the top 10 largest video bandwidth users worldwide, ahead of US streaming giant HULU. However, unlike HULU or Netflix, Openload is not a paid streaming service but a free file locker service. Pirates around the world have long turned to Openload and its sister site Streamango to host the latest films and episodes of popular television shows, and then they would embed these videos on their sites.

The site generated revenues through advertising, often taking on questionable advertisers in legally grey markets, who were happy to put their brand in front of users’ eyeball even if they were indirectly supporting piracy.

Since its launch in 2015, Openload has been the focus of various anti-piracy efforts around the world, but the service had up until today remained surprisingly resilient operating hundreds of servers in datacentres around the world. However, after a civil suit in Germany, the pirate site has agreed to immediately shut down its service, redirect its users to alliance4creativity.com, and pay what ACE described as “significant damages” to the TV and film industries.

Whilst the Openload.co and Openload.best domains redirect to alliance4creativity.com as required under the deal, ACE’s website is currently struggling with the traffic now being redirected to it, and so most users attempting to visit Openload are being presented with time-out errors instead of the anti-piracy advertisement below.

ACE anti-piracy notice

ACE anti-piracy notice

It is currently unclear how many other streaming and filelocker websites were managed by the group behind Openload, but alongside Openload’s Openload.co, Openload.best, oload.cc, oload.club, oload.download, openload.pw, oloadcdn.net and Streamango.com, a number of other similar services are also unavailable to including verystream.com and StreamCherry.com.

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