The popular streaming application VivaTV is on the target list of ACE, MPA, and other anti-piracy authorities.
In a significant move against online piracy, recent DMCA subpoena applications filed by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) in a U.S. court target major players in the IPTV, web streaming, and hosting domain.
These platforms, which include the likes of the Android app VivaTV, StreamTape, and VidSrc, attract a whopping 80 to 100 million visits per month.
At a glance, these numbers are jaw-dropping, but dig a little deeper, and there are other intriguing facets to explore.
Navigating the Tightrope: Pirates vs Anti-Piracy Groups
For many digital platforms aiming to evade the prying eyes of anti-piracy groups, staying under the radar can be a feasible task.
These groups, despite having extensive resources, do have their limits.
However, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) has demonstrated over the past six years that tracking and unmasking even elusive operators is very much within their purview.
One of the most definitive signs that ACE and MPA have set their sights on a platform is the filing of DMCA subpoena applications in U.S. courts.
The recent batch filed by the MPA highlights some familiar names, making it an essential matter for in-depth scrutiny.
VivaTV Targeted by ACE/MPA
A notable inclusion in the MPA’s radar is VivaTV, a popular Android-based movie and TV show streaming app.
ACE highlighted a specific download URL for the app, pointing to version v1.6.2. Curiously, a quick perusal of the site only displays version v1.5.5.
This discrepancy aside, the broader internet indeed houses multiple versions of VivaTV, along with various other apps.
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A unique feature of VivaTV and its ilk is that they do not host videos directly. Instead, they act as gateways to third-party hosting platforms.
For instance, in the MPA’s claim, they flagged VivaTV for infringing rights related to the movie ‘Frozen’.
A closer inspection revealed that the actual source was StreamTape.com, a platform with over 250 million visits annually. Similarly, for the movie ‘Minions: Rise of Gru’, VidSrc.me emerged as the hosting culprit.
Given its vast user base, it’s no surprise that StreamTape is on MPA/ACE’s watchlist, with repeated references in watch lists maintained by the EU and the United States.
Is VivaTV Safe? The Malware Debate
While piracy is one side of the coin, the safety of these platforms is another pertinent discussion.
Numerous blogs offer insights into the latest ‘pirate’ apps, complete with version updates and direct download links.
A common practice among these is to validate the apps using services like VirusTotal to reassure potential users of their safety.
Interestingly, VivaTV underwent such a test. Initial results seemed promising with most security vendors (62 to be precise) giving it a green signal.
However, a closer inspection of the app’s details on VirusTotal reveals potential concerns.
When users shift their focus from the ‘DETECTION’ tab to tabs labeled as ‘DETAILS’, ‘RELATIONS’, ‘BEHAVIOR’, and ‘COMMUNITY’, the assurance starts to waver.
An internal analysis from VirusTotal’s ‘Zenbox’ provides a breakdown of what the app might be attempting in the background.
This raises a critical question for users: are these access requests by the app necessary or even reasonable for its functioning?
The recent moves by the MPA and ACE against major streaming platforms underline the ever-evolving battle between piracy and entertainment giants.
As these platforms grow in popularity, so does the scrutiny from anti-piracy groups.
Legal Streaming Options
IPTV Wire can’t determine whether unverified IPTV services, apps, websites, or add-ons hold the proper licensing.
If and when an IPTV service is deemed illegal, we notify our users immediately and update reports on our website like this one to reflect that information.
In conclusion, the end-user is responsible for all content accessed through free IPTV apps and paid services.
See our detailed guide below for more information on the legality of IPTV and everything you need to know before streaming.
For 100% verified and legal IPTV providers, see the options listed below:
fuboTV is one of the most popular paid legal IPTV providers among cord-cutters around the globe, especially sports fanatics.
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This IPTV service offers three different plans with the most popular for $69.99/month for over 115 channels and DVR.
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Just like fuboTV, Philo also offers a 7-Day Free Trial for new users! This is a must-have feature when choosing any IPTV provider.
Pluto TV is another popular free and legal IPTV application used by millions of cord-cutters.
This free IPTV provider offers hundreds of live channels along with thousands of movies and TV shows.
Check out our Pluto TV guide below for more information.