Vietnam shuts down popular Netflix-style movie site in massive piracy case

By Thanh Nien Staff, Thanh Nien News

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Latest Hollywood blockbusters can be streamed free on many Vietnamese websites such as this one Latest Hollywood blockbusters can be streamed free on many Vietnamese websites such as this one


Vietnamese authorities have shut down one of the country's biggest streaming sites for apparently pirating a large number movies and TV shows, including major Hollywood blockbusters.
Police and inspectors said was run from servers based in Vietnam. 
They have interrogated executives of the website's operators, Bach Trieu Phat Joint-stock Company and Pine Multimedia Technologies, both headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City.
The investigation will conclude in 15 days.
Under Vietnamese law, both the companies will possibly be fined VND15-30 million (US$650-1,300) each, if found guilty of violating copyright law, lawyer Nguyen Thach Thao with Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association, told Thanh Nien.
Investigators said Bach Trieu Phat launched the website as a social network in 2012, allowing its members to upload and share movies and TV shows.
A majority of the website's streaming content was also uploaded by Bach Trieu Phat itself, investigators said.
Pine Multimedia Technologies was also suspected of posting movies and TV shows illegally. 
The website could be accessed by anybody, but members could choose to pay a small fee, around VND1,000 a day, to stream in higher quality and better speed without ads. 
It is not immediately clear how many people watched movies and TV shows on the site every day, but its membership reportedly reached thousands.
It was one of Vietnamese movie streaming sites faced legal threats from the Motion Picture Association of America, local media reported.
Dozens of other streaming sites are still active in Vietnam, letting users watch thousands of TV shows and movies for free. Many of these sites encourage users to buy membership as cheap as VND2,000 a day for better access.
Officials have not commented on these sites. 

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