Credit Card Processors Help Cyberlockers Distribute Stolen Content
A new report indicates credit card processors, such as Visa and MasterCard, authorize payments on cyberlocker websites that distribute stolen content on the web.
The NetNames report done for Digital Citizens Alliance looked at 30 of the biggest cyberlocker sites on the Internet and found that many of them are highly profitable.
Cyberlockers make as much 70% of their annual income from subscription services, which usually run about $10 a month. Sites, such as Uptobox, FeakShare, Putlocker and Mega, are able to process this money online because Visa and MasterCard allow their cards to be used for these kinds of purchases.
“Both Visa and MasterCard made statements saying ‘we’re not going to do business with these types of piracy sites,'” David Price, head of piracy analysis at NetNames, told the Los Angeles Times.
Nevertheless, the credit card companies and cyberlockers alike are both making money from piracy-driven transactions.
These credit card processors are essentially promoting content theft online by allowing their cards to be used on cyberlocker sites. PayPal, by comparison, is only available on one of these sites now, even though it used to be the preferred payment processor for cyberlockers.
“PayPal decided, we don’t want to do business with these sites,” explained Price.
In reflecting the work credit card companies are doing to get off content sharing sites, Price said, “From our inspection, they have not put much effort into that area to really clamp down on the ability of people to pay for these services.”